Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

170-210 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

203-432-5050

Mission Statement

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.

History:
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.

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