smithsonian: Every few years, these behind-the-scenes photos of…


Feather identification expert Roxie Collie Laybourne surrounded by birds. This photo took about eight hours to set up (Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution)


Botany collections at the National Museum of Natural History (Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution)


Many types of algae in the Department of Botany collections (Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution)


Invertebrates collection in storage behind the scenes (Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution)


Anthropology collections with items representing different groups of people at specific times (Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution)


Entomology collections at the National Museum of Natural History (Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution)

smithsonian:

Every few years, these behind-the-scenes photos of our National Museum of Natural History go viral. 

With less than one percent of the museum’s collection on display at any given time, we need a lot of drawers. 

These images, captured over the course of almost 20 years, show the vastness and variety of specimens in storage but also represent very active science that goes on at the museum. What do we do with all those birds? They allow researchers to study a species’ variability, to learn how environments change over time, and to access raw data for continual investigation as the field advances. 

The Story Behind Those Jaw-Dropping Photos of the Collections at the Natural History Museum by @smithsonianmag

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