Explore the Vast Scientific Collections of D.C.’s National Museum of Natural History Paired with Respective Experts

A presentation of entomology specimens arranged within one aisle of the Entomology Department compactor collection cabinets at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Designed to illustrate the size and scope of the Entomology collection. May 9, 2006. Featured researchers: Dr. David Furth, Collections Manager; Dr. Ted Schultz, Research Entomologist; Dr. Jonathan Coddington, Senior Scientist; Patricia Gentili-Poole, Museum Technician.

A presentation of entomology specimens arranged within one aisle of the Entomology Department compactor collection cabinets at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Designed to illustrate the size and scope of the Entomology collection. May 9, 2006. Featured researchers: Dr. David Furth, Collections Manager; Dr. Ted Schultz, Research Entomologist; Dr. Jonathan Coddington, Senior Scientist; Patricia Gentili-Poole, Museum Technician.

Carefully arranged within thousands of drawers, flat files, and shelving units are the collections of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) which together comprise 90% of the Smithsonian’s collections. Found in these material assortments are the reference objects that help scientists, researchers, and museum curators understand our planet—from solid earth fragments to biological material and cultural objects from civilizations long deceased.

In this phenomenal photo series from the Smithsonian we get to see the many researchers paired with the items they explore and evaluate behind doors closed to the general public. You can learn more about these many varied collections on NMNH’s website. (via Juxtapoz)

The Botany Department Herbarium at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, displaying algae specimens, including coraline algae, wet specimens and the usual herbarium sheets. Featured researchers: Dr. James Norris (right, front), his research assistant Bob Sims (left, front), and associate researcher, Katie Norris (left, back).

The Botany Department Herbarium at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, displaying algae specimens, including coralline algae, wet specimens and the usual herbarium sheets. Featured researchers: Dr. James Norris (right, front), his research assistant Bob Sims (left, front), and associate researcher, Katie Norris (left, back). All images by Chip Clark.

Botanical collections are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Botany staff present are Dr. David Bruce Lellinger (left, front), Carol Kellof (right, middle), and Rusty Russell (left, back).

Botanical collections are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Botany staff present are Dr. David Bruce Lellinger (left, front), Carol Kellof (right, middle), and Rusty Russell (left, back).

A view of one part of the Paleontology collection in the Smithsonian Institution's National Musuem of Natural History, arranged by the addition of representative specimens from other parts of the three floors of fossils in the East Wing. Staff: Dr. Scott Wing, Chairman of the Department of Paleontology.

A view of one part of the Paleontology collection in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, arranged by the addition of representative specimens from other parts of the three floors of fossils in the East Wing. Staff: Dr. Scott Wing, Chairman of the Department of Paleontology.

Whale skeletons from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology's marine mammals collections are displayed in storage at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Suitland, Maryland.

Whale skeletons from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology’s marine mammals collections are displayed in storage at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Suitland, Maryland.

Anthropological collections on display in Pod 4 (designed to house oversized objects) at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Suitland, Maryland. Anthropology collections staff present. Panoramic image #7 of 7 at 26mm focal length.

Anthropological collections on display in Pod 4 (designed to house oversized objects) at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Suitland, Maryland. Anthropology collections staff present. Panoramic image #7 of 7 at 26mm focal length.

An assortment of mineral specimens from the Department of Mineral Sciences' collections are displayed in the storage vault known as the "Blue Room," at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Mineral Sciences staff present are (left) Paul Pohwat, Collections Manager of Minerals, and (right) Russell Feather, Collections Manager of Gems.

An assortment of mineral specimens from the Department of Mineral Sciences’ collections are displayed in the storage vault known as the “Blue Room,” at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Mineral Sciences staff present are (left) Paul Pohwat, Collections Manager of Minerals, and (right) Russell Feather, Collections Manager of Gems.

Collections from the Department of Invertebrate Zoology are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Invertebrate Zoology Staff present: Paul Greenhall, Robert Hershler, Ellen Strong, Jerry Harasewych, and Linda Cole.

Collections from the Department of Invertebrate Zoology are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Invertebrate Zoology Staff present: Paul Greenhall, Robert Hershler, Ellen Strong, Jerry Harasewych, and Linda Cole.

Mice from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology's mammals collections are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

Mice from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology’s mammals collections are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

The Department of Vertebrate Zoology's wet collections of fish specimens preserved in alcohol, located at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

The Department of Vertebrate Zoology’s wet collections of fish specimens preserved in alcohol, located at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Anthropological collections are displayed in Pod 1 at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland.

Anthropological collections are displayed in Pod 1 at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland.

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