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Peabody Museum

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Yale University's earliest museum collection, begun in the 18th century, was a miscellaneous assortment of "natural and artificial curiosities" from around the world typical of college collections of the time. Systematic collecting of specimens for teaching and research began in 1802 with the appointment of Benjamin Silliman as Professor of Chemistry and Natural History. The outstanding mineral collection Silliman built for Yale, which he used in his pioneering teaching of geology and mineralogy, became an important source of public entertainment and one of the principal attractions for visitors to New Haven.

Silliman's activities helped to establish Yale as a major center of scientific education in the first half of the 19th century. Among the undergraduates attracted to the University by its scientific reputation was Othniel Charles Marsh. Marsh's education and his postgraduate studies abroad were funded by his uncle, the wealthy international financier George Peabody. When toward the end of his life Peabody began to distribute his vast fortune to, among others, institutions concerned with education, Marsh persuaded his uncle to include Yale in his philanthropies. In 1866 the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University was founded with a gift of $150,000 for the construction of a museum building and the care and increase of the museum and its collections.

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.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Mon10:00 AM5:00 PM
Tue10:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed10:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr10:00 AM5:00 PM
Fri10:00 AM5:00 PM
Sat10:00 AM5:00 PM
Sun12:00 PM5:00 PM
Notes: None Listed


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