Amazing Photos of the Smithsonian’s Massive Specimen Collections in DC

by Staff April 12, 2016 at 4:15 am

smithsoniancover

Inside the bowels of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC you’ll find something amazing. Classified, labelled, and impeccably organized, you’ll find 90% of the Smithsonian’s collections tucked neatly away in drawers and cabinets. Well… usually they’re tucked away.

In a series of images for the NMNH’s Collections Program, the late photographer Chip Clark photographed the amazing collection with every single drawer pulled out and on display. And alongside each collection are some of the experts, curators, and scientists who use it to break new scientific ground.

“NMNH’s collections are special resources that allow the museum to make unique contributions to answering significant scientific questions and responding to national mandates, priorities, and concerns,” the NMNH states on its website. “As such, the collections play a vital role in advancing scientific knowledge, addressing societal issues, and increasing the scientific literacy of our nation.”

What the statement above doesn’t mention is just how beautiful these collections are. For that, we have the photos:

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).
Birds collections from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. In the foreground is Roxie Laybourne, a feather identification expert.
Birds collections from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. In the foreground is Roxie Laybourne, a feather identification expert.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.

To learn more about the NMNH’s collections program or see these photos in higher resolution, head over to the program website here.

(via Colossal)


Image credits: Photographs by Chip Clark/Smithsonian, and used with permission.



Source link

more news from the blog

Add Comment


five × 1 =