NEMA Museums New England

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Museum Profile

Beneski Museum of Natural History

11 Barrett Hill Drive, Amherst, MA 01002-500
(413) 542-2165

The Beneski Museum of Natural History is one of New England’s largest natural history museums, boasting three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display, and tens of thousands of specimens available for use by scholars and researchers from across campus and around the world. The museum is home to dramatic displays of fossil skeletons, from fish to dinosaurs to Ice Age megafauna. Of particular note is an extraordinary collection of dinosaur footprints collected locally. The geological specimens and immersive exhibits tell wonderful history of the local landscape through geologic time, including when dinosaurs inhabited the area. Featured in our halls are dazzling mineral specimens from around the world and meteorites from beyond Earth.

The museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the physical evidence of the geological history of the Earth, the evolutionary history of its inhabitants, and the processes that have shaped both through time. The museum provides direct experience with the materials and former inhabitants of the Earth. The museum challenges visitors to consider problems of scientific interpretation with the hope of stimulating the scientific curiosity and observational acuity of students and scholars, fostering in them a spirit of inquiry, stewardship and wonder toward the Earth.