Natural history museum

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A natural history museum (or museum of natural history) is a museum with exhibits about natural history, including such topics as animals, plants, ecosystems, geology, paleontology, and climatology. Some museums feature natural-history collections in addition to other collections, such as ones related to history, art and science. Nature centers often include natural history exhibits.

Renaissance cabinets of curiosities were private collections that typically included exotic specimens of natural history, sometimes faked, along with other types of object. The first natural history museum was possibly was that of Swiss scholar Conrad Gessner, established in Zurich in the mid 16th century. The Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, established in Paris in 1635, was the first natural history museum to take the form that would be recognized as a natural history museum today. Early natural history museums offered limited accessibility, as they were generally private collections or holdings of scientific societies. The Ashmolean Museum, opened in 1683, was the first natural history museum to grant admission to the general public.



  1. ^ Vincent H. Resh, Ring T. Cardé, Encyclopedia of Insects (2003), p. 771.
  2. ^ Andi Stein, Beth Blingham Evans, An Introduction to the Entertainment Industry (2009), p. 115.

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