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National Museum of Natural History - Smithsonian Institution

10th Street & Constitution Avenue, N. W.
Washington, DC

Phone: 202-357-2700 - Tty: 202-357-1729 -

Statement of Purpose

With more than 120 million objects in its research collections, the museum provides 6.4 million annual visitors with a fascinating resource about people and their natural surroundings.

Visitors can see examples of thousands of ancient and modern mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and sea creatures.

Realistic dioramas reveal humankind's earliest history and the development of world cultures.

Among the exhibits are halls devoted to dinosaurs, Native American cultures; geology, gems and minerals; and live insects.

Highlights & Collections

Highlights include:

African bush elephant, dinosaurs, Hope Diamond, O. Orkin Insect Zoo, and the Discovery Room where children can have hands on experience with museum specimens.

Other attractions also include the new Discovery Center which includes the Samuel C. Johnson Theater, an IMAX theater with 3D capabilities, the 600 seat Atrium cafe, and the expanded museum shops recognized as a model for integrating museum artifacts with retail products.

Current Exhibits and Upcoming Special Events

Permanent Exhibits:

Permanent Exhibitions also describe life in the ancient seas; fossil mammals, with particular emphasis on the rise of mammals toward the end of the Age of Dinosaurs through the climax of the Ice Age; contemporary understandings of human evolution; the origins of Western culture; South America's cultures and ecosystems; the cultures of the Pacific and Asia; osteology (bones); cold-blooded vertebrates (reptiles); and the living world today, especially mammals, birds, and marine life.

1999 Calendar of Events:

"Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People"

"African Voices"

2000 Calendar of Events:

"Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga"


Admission & Directions:


Key Personnel:

Robert Fri, Director

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