Historic Halls of the American Museum of Natural History
The Historic Halls Collection highlights the American Museum of Natural History’s iconic permanent exhibition halls throughout its history. The over 3,000 images in this collection were selected to provide representations of each of the Museum exhibit halls for a thorough view of the gallery spaces through time, space, and concept, and therefore a glimpse into the evolution of the presentation of science and culture to the public. The Historic Halls Collection may be searched through scientific discipline or topic as well as by more than 100 permanent and historic hall names, creating a virtual tour of the Museum over time through archival photographs.
The Historic Halls Digitization Project, generously supported through funding from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation, is an effort to provide the public with the opportunity to explore the rich history of scientific topics, collections, and cultures exhibited in the Museum's halls. By browsing thousands of images documenting the Museum’s famous galleries over its nearly 150 year history from the renown Photographic Collections housed in the Museum's Library, researchers may trace the presentation of science through the evolution of the Museum's exhibits. Accompanying the photographic descriptions, each image record includes the evolution of hall name changes and a link to a rich history of the hall in which the photograph was taken. For several short-lived historic halls the search for images continues, while historic notes may be accessed through the project website. Historic notes include a variety of information, such as the chronology of each hall, major exhibits, habitat groups and dioramas, scientists, artists, funders and contributors, architects, hall concept and design, expeditions from which collections and exhibits were comprised, and major changes over the years. A bibliography of sources provided for each hall can help further research and context in the life of the halls and their places within Museum.
The Historic Halls Digitization Project was generously supported through funding from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation.