Current Operating Status
Access to the Paleobiology collections, through loans or in-person visits, is available on a case-by-case basis. Please note that due to limited staff availability and a high volume of requests, we may not be able to accommodate your request, or it may be postponed to a later date. Our Collections Management team will review and work with you directly about specific details and expected timeline. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we navigate this transitionary period.
We are sincerely grateful for your interest in the Paleobiology collections. Please continue to check our site for updates to provided collections services. If you have any questions, please email Paleodept@si.edu.
Fossil Marine Mammal Collections Currently Closed
Due to limited staff availability and capacity we have temporarily closed the fossil marine mammal collections to external researchers through 2023. While closed, we will not be able to accommodate any visitors, new imaging or loan requests, or specimen data inquiries beyond what is readily available in our database. Specimen information and existing 2D images may be downloaded from our online collections database at http://collections.nmnh.si.edu/search/paleo/.
Please continue to refer to this website for updates on the status of the fossil marine mammal collections. We appreciate your patience and hope to have the collections open again and able to accommodate requests in 2024. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Collections
The Department of Paleobiology welcomes, with advanced notice, scientific researchers and their students to the collections to further their own research. We ask that all requests to visit the collections be made at least 1 month in advance. While we work to approve all visit requests, please note that some visits may be denied or rescheduled based on staffing availability and other outstanding requests.
Whether this is your first time visiting the collections or your 50th time, in order to keep track of all visit requests, we ask that you submit a new request for each visit. Please review the Visitor Information section below. All students must also submit a letter of support from their advisors, vouching for their ability to work responsibly in our collections.
Once your visit is approved you will be notified via email. Please have any additional documentation necessary (i.e. advisor approval letter, list of USNM specimen numbers) on hand to prevent any delays in scheduling your appointment. It is vital that you review the visitor guidelines prior to your visit. These guidelines are in place to protect the collections and the individuals working with them, and to ensure the security of the department. All visitors are expected to be familiar with these polices and we reserve the right to revoke visitor privileges at our discretion.