museum tourist: harvard natural history

There is nothing I love like a good old-school museum. And Harvard’s Museum of Natural History? It is OLD school. Ok, it has many excellent modern displays teaching scientific concepts. And it also has:

Boxes of rocks!


(Excuse me: cabinets of minerals. I learned today that a mineral is not a rock; rocks are made up of minerals. I’m still working out this whole geology thing, and I thank the museum people of the world for helping to teach me.)

Also: Cases of birds!


(SO MANY cases of birds. I love birds. Although, I must say, you don’t learn a lot when you just look at a couple hundred birds in a case. Pretty, but…not that informative.)

And also:


South American vertebrates! Thank goodness it’s only selected representatives. There are a lot of vertebrates in South America. (Not to worry – the museum has vertebrates from everywhere else, too.) (There is one black rhinoceros that is crying out for a wealthy alum to fund its retaxidermying, if that is a word, and it should be.)

But by far my favorite room is this one:

historic gallery

Several whale skeletons, a taxidermied giraffe, SO MANY BIRDS, deer, apes – this gallery has a little of everything. It was built in 1872 and restored to its early-20th-century glory a few years ago. It’s not really how people do museums today, but wow, is it beautiful.

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photos: me


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