The Field Museum (originally known as the Columbian Museum of Chicago) was established in Illinois on September 16, 1893 to accommodate the biological and anthropological exhibits for the 1893 World's Fair, "The Columbian Exposition". In 1905, the Museum's name was changed to the Field Museum of Natural History in honor of Marshall Field, the Museum's first major benefactor. In 1921 the Museum moved from its old Jackson Park site to its present location on Chicago Park District property south of Grant Park, on the shores of Lake Michigan. This "Museum Campus" location also includes the John G. Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium. The three museums are among the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago.
The Field Museum's collection includes over twenty million specimens and a natural history library of more than 250,000 volumes. The Museum offers many educational programs, including classes, lectures, field trips, overnight programs, and special events. The Harris Loan Program, established in 1912, brings artifacts, activity kits, and audiovisual aids to Chicago area schools. The Museum also offers many professional lectures, including the annual A. Watson Armour III Symposium, for the scientific community as well as the general public.
The museum is a world leader in research in the fields of evolutionary biology and paleontology, and archaeology and ethnography, and often collaborates in research with the University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago
Exhibits, Programs and Research
Major Permanent Exhibits
The collections at the Field Museum, assembled for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, are managed and researched by curators in the four departments of Anthropology, Botany, Geology, and Zoology. These many collections include such exhibits as Reptiles and Amphibians, Animal Biology, Plants of the World, Earth Sciences, Life Over Time, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Ancient Egypt, as well as various exhibits of birds and mammals from around the world. Some of the more notable museum exhibits are:
- The Grainger Hall of Gems - includes diamonds, gems, and Tiffany glass.
- Webber Gallery - explores modern Native American cultures
- The Hall of Jades - displays beautiful works in jade
- Bushman - famous lowland gorilla who lived at Lincoln Park Zoo for two decades until his death at 23 in January, 1951
- Nature Walk - includes prairie, wetland, woodland and seashore environments
Recent/current Temporary Exhibits
- Pearls - June 28, 2002 through January 5, 2003
- Chocolate - February 14, 2002 through December 31, 2002
- Tiniest Giants: Discovering Dinosaur Eggs - March 15, 2002 through September 2, 2002
- A Celebration of Souls: Day of the Dead in Southern Mexico - March 8, 2002 through February 9, 2003
Popular Online Exhibits
- Sue - the largest, mast complete and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex. Debuted May 17, 2000.
- Lions of Tsavo - the maneless, man-eating lions who killed and ate over 100 workers on the Uganda Railway in 1898.
- Underground Adventure
- Anthropological Collection
- Butterfly Website
- Sue Files- students in grades 3-9 explore fossil preservation, dinosaur eating habits, various online resources and classroom activities.
- Project Environmental Rescue- supported by NASA's Earth Science research Program, is a free multimedia curriculum for students grades 3-8, teaches how to prevent the extinction of plants and animals.
- [email protected] a pilot program which offers online video and e-mail reporting from scientists in the field.
- Scholarships and grants are offered to individuals around the U.S. and internationally in order to fund research in the field of natural history.
- The museum also offers various lectures, classes, and special events.
Visiting the Museum
The Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
(just south of Roosevelt Road)
Hours of Operation
Open from 9 AM to 5 PM 363 days a year
The museum can be easily accessed by both public transportation and by free trolleys provided by the Chicago Office of Tourism. For more information on public transit, visit the Chicago Transit Authority. To find out more about free trolleys, and travel packages, visit 877 Chicago.com or City Search Chicago.
- Adults: $8 US
- Children 3-11: $4 US
- Senior Citizens and Students with I.D.: $4 US
- Museum Members, Teachers, and Military Personnel with I.D.: FREE
For ticket packages and "free day" information, please visit The Field Museum of Natural History's Visitor Information
Chicago City Pass
Visitors to the Chicago area might be interested in purchasing a Chicago City Pass. The City Pass allows one to visit six Chicago attractions within a nine-day period for $39 US. ($29 US for children aged 3-11). The pass includes admission to the Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the John G. Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the John Hancock Observatory.
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