The mission of the Peabody Museum is to serve Yale University by advancing our understanding of earth’s history through geological, biological, and anthropological research, and by communicating the results of this research to the widest possible audience through publication, exhibition, and educational programs. Fundamental to this mission is stewardship of the museum’s rich collections, which provide a remarkable record of the history of the earth, its life, and its cultures. Conservation, augmentation and use of these collections become increasingly urgent as modern threats to the diversity of life and culture continue to intensify. Approved by the Corporation of Yale University, February 25, 1995.
Systematic collecting of specimens for teaching and research at Yale began in 1802 with the appointment of Benjamin Silliman as Professor of Chemistry and Natural History. The outstanding mineral collection Silliman built for Yale became an important source of public entertainment and one of the principal attractions for visitors to New Haven. Among the undergraduates attracted to the Yale by its scientific reputation was Othniel Charles Marsh who persuaded his uncle, George Peabody, to give $150,000 to Yale for the construction and care of a museum building for its collections. O.C. Marsh was appointed Professor of Paleontology at Yale in 1866, the first such professorship in the United States.
Accomplishments last year: 1) The Peabody Museum through the Evolutions After School Program and internships for high school students further helped students to pursue college and future careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The goal of Evolutions is to provide youth with basic job and teaching skills, in addition to highlighting science and museum careers, by employing students as interpreters in the exhibition galleries. 2) Samurai and the Culture of Japan’s Great Peace brought to life the many-layered history of the samurai and those they ruled—a history full of drama and paradox. The Museum exhibited more than 150 spectacular artifacts from four Yale collections—the Peabody Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, and the Sterling Memorial Library. 3) Public programs continued to grow with teacher professional development seminars, lectures and summer institute. The community festivals and events included Fiesta Latina - a celebration of Latin American cultures, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice, Dinosaur Days, Paleo-Knowledge Bowl, Summer's Last Roar. 4) Collection-improvement grants in Invertebrate Zoology, Vertebrate Paleontology, and Anthropology continued to help the Museum move collections into the highest-grade museum storage for safe keeping.
One of the most fundamental challenges of the 21st Century is the documentation and conservation of the world's cultural and biological diversity. As part of a University with a strong commitment to environmental research, the Yale Peabody Museum, with its world-class collections (numbering over 12 million specimens and growing), is able to bring tremendous resources to bear in addressing this challenge. Our mission, to advance knowledge and a broad understanding of Earth's history, life and cultures has never been more important. Every year, our Curators and staff conduct field research on every continent while advanced technologies help us draw fresh information from specimens, some of which have been in the collections for decades. Our educational activities inspire people, especially children, with a love for the natural and cultural world and an appreciation of its importance to human health and wellbeing. Global change brings new urgency to questions the Museum has asked throughout its distinguished history - what species exist on Earth, where they live, and how they have changed over time. It also means that increasing public understanding and engagement with these issues is of vital importance. Whether you visit us in person or online, whether you come to learn about our collections or simply have fun, I hope you will be excited to join us in this mission.
Students will be better equipped to understand science and the relevancy of science to their lives.
Overseen by a board of curators from the Yale University faculty, the exceptional collections of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History are at the heart of University teaching, the interdisciplinary studies of researchers from around the world, and Museum exhibitions that communicate the importance and excitement of studying the earth’s history and diversity. There are more than 12 million specimens and objects held by the Museum’s 11 curatorial divisions, less than 1% of which can be displayed to the public at any given time.
The Yale Peabody Museum’s collections are available to legitimate researchers for scholarly use. Loans are issued to responsible individuals at established institutions. Loans and access to the collection can be arranged through the appropriate curatorial division.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Greater New Haven is home to a thriving arts community that includes theatre, music, dance and the visual arts. It is invested in its museums, historic preservation and the celebration of its members’ ethnic and cultural diversity.
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