Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I get digital scans of Museum images?
    The Special Collections department of the Library has a large collection of photographic images available for publication, broadcast, exhibition, or educational use. More information on how to submit your request may be found at Reproduction and Licensing. Please be aware that some images may not be available for use. 
  • Does the Library appraise books?
    The Library staff does not evaluate materials for the purpose of establishing their market value or value for tax purposes. For such information, you may wish to consult the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America website.
  • Does the Museum appraise objects and artifacts?
    The Museum's scientific staff are not available to authenticate or perform appraisals of any artifacts for the public. You may wish to contact the Appraisers Association of America to get more information on certain types of appraisals. 
  • Where can I get an answer to an astronomy reference question?
    The Hayden Planetarium Question and Answer Hotline can be reached at (212) 769-5901.  
  • Where can I find and order Museum publications?
    For information about the Museum's Bulletin, Novitates, and Anthropological Papers please visit the Library's Museum Publications site.  Visit Natural History Magazine for subscription information for this popular magazine.
  • Where can I find out more about the scientists who work at the Museum?
    Our Research contains biographical and credential information for some of the prominent scientists associated with the Museum.
  • Where can I get more information about the geologic time scale?
    The Museum's Timelines online exhibition provides a wealth of information on the historic periods of the Earth and their characteristic flora and fauna. You can also visit the University of California website for an online introduction to the geologic time scale.
  • What is the Museum's mission statement?
    The act to incorporate the American Museum of Natural History, which passed the New York State Congress on April 6, 1869, states:
    The American Museum of Natural History, to be located in the City of New York for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said city a Museum and Library of Natural History; of encouraging and developing the study of Natural Science; of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and to that end of furnishing popular instruction.
    The 1996 strategic plan, adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 10, includes the following statement of mission:
    To discover, interpret, and disseminate -- through scientific research and education -- knowledge about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe.