Visiting the Collections
The Paleontology collections are generally open to bona fide researchers who are affiliated to a recognized academic institution. Approval by the AMNH staff is required. Normal opening hours are weekdays, 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM, excluding public holidays.
Applying to Visit
Applications to visit the collection must be made in writing at least two weeks in advance of the visit. First-time visitors should make their request via a letter with an institutional letterhead. In addition, students should provide a letter of reference from their graduate or undergraduate advisor, also on institutional letterhead.
Letters of application and reference should be directed to the appropriate visitor contact for the collection in question. The request should specify the purpose of the visit and the specimens to be examined, together with the proposed dates. Visits in excess of 10 working days' duration will be assessed according to the long-term availability of workspace in the collections.
Molding and Casting Specimens During a Visit
Permission to mold specimens while visiting the collections must be approved in advance. Requests to mold specimens should be in the form of a written proposal, sent at the same time as an application to visit the collection. Please review our policies on molding and casting specimens here.
Visiting Multiple Departments
Visitors requesting access to more than one department of AMNH - for example, fossil mammals (Department of Vertebrate Paleontology) and the Department of Mammalogy - should be aware that Paleontology staff can only grant access to the Paleontology collections. Requests to visit other collections should be referred directly to the relevant department's visitor contact.
Restrictions on Access to the Fossil Mammal Collection
Because of a long-term collection improvement and building renovation project, parts of the fossil mammal collection may be unavailable to visitors, in some cases for periods of several months at a time. Visitors intending to study fossil mammals should contact the Division as early as possible to confirm the availability of the material that they wish to examine.
Visiting the V.P. Archives
Arrangements for requesting visits to the Vertebrate Paleontology archives are the same as for visiting the collections. Visitors are not permitted unaccompanied access to the archives. Archives relating to the invertebrate paleontology collections are held by the Division of Invertebrates. Visitors interested in archival material are also advised to contact the main AMNH archives, which have significant holdings of documents relating to paleontology at AMNH.