Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the Museum celebrates the importance of natural history collections by inviting visitors to bring in their own specimens to our annual Identification Day. Bring your shells, rocks, insects, feathers, bones, and artifacts to be identified by Museum scientists and explore rarely seen objects from the Museum’s collection. Scientists will attempt to identify your discoveries and provide a certificate of identification. Items identified in previous years have included a whale jawbone, a green-beetle bracelet from Brazil, and a 5,000-year-old stone spear point from Morocco.
NOTE: NO APPRAISALS WILL BE GIVEN, AND GEMSTONES WILL NOT BE IDENTIFIED.
Before you come to Identification Day, here are a few tips that will help scientists identify your specimens:
• Bring as much information on your specimens as possible. If it belongs to a friend or family member, try to get the information from them.
• Please only bring plants that you have permission to collect.
• Plant samples that have flowers or fruits (or both) are much easier to identify than those without.
• Bring your plant sample in a zip-lock bag (this will keep the plant moist for easier identification and will avoid spreading pests in the Museum).
• Please try to bring fresh (very recently collected) plant samples.
• Bring as much information on your specimen as possible, especially its place of origin.
Things that are great to scan
• Objects that are larger than a 50 x 50 mm (2 x 2 in) cylinder
• Objects that are smaller than a 203 x 203 mm (8 x 8 in) cylinder
• Objects weighing less than 3 kg (6.6 lbs)
• Stationary objects
• Opaque objects
Things that are difficult to scan
• Transparent objects
• Shiny or reflective objects
• Very dark objects
• Fuzzy objects
• Moving objects
A Special Note on Animal Specimens
• With the exception of insects, please do not bring any live or dead specimens. Photos of your snake, bird, or other specimen will suffice for identification.
Learn more about what, and what not, to bring in a video, here.