The Harvard Museum of Natural History was established in 1998 as the public face of three research museums: the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard University Herbaria, and the Mineralogical and Geological Museum. Presenting the incomparable collections of these parent museums and the research of scientists across the University, it has a mission to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the natural world and the human place in it, sparking curiosity and a spirit of discovery in people of all ages.

Today’s museum reflects both the history of its parents and an evolution toward a 21st century institution that presents cutting-edge research, addresses contemporary issues, and offers creative educational experience in a unique, intimate setting.

We believe in the power of museums to change the way we see and understand our world, and in the importance of close observation, of asking questions and, from the answers, generating new queries. Through our exhibits, programs, and classes for learners of all ages we encourage our visitors to look closer, dig deeper.

More than 220,000 visitors each year take advantage of our offerings. Our audience includes about 33,000 school children in groups; adults and children from throughout the region; and tourists from around the country and around the world.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History is the most visited attraction at Harvard—for its historical collections, its temporary exhibitions, and its new permanent galleries.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History is a member of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture (HMSC) consortium.