Director's Welcome

David K. Skelly
Director, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

Frank R. Oastler Professor of Ecology, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


From the Director: Fall 2015

From summer camps to samurai, the Peabody was the place to be this summer. The temporary exhibition Samurai and the Culture of Japan’s Great Peace continues to excite all ages with an impressive mix of objects that tell the fascinating story of the Tokugawa period. And be sure to check out our related fall programming, including a lecture series and, with Yale’s Film and Media Studies Program, a samurai-themed film series.


In June, we opened Audubon and the Double Elephant Folio. Two spectacular volumes of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America, on loan from Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, are on view with five original copper plates used to create the prints in the 1800s.


Also in June, the Peabody announced a $4 million gift to transform our auditorium into a state-of-the-art mineral and gem gallery and multipurpose programming space. I invite you to learn more about this exciting project in the following pages. It’s an exciting time for the Peabody, and I look forward to seeing you at the Museum soon.



The Peabody at Yale

The Peabody Museum of Natural History is an administrative unit of Yale University, reporting through the Provost to the University, President and the Yale Corporation. The Yale Peabody Museum operates under the authority of the Yale Corporation, which appoints the Museum Director on the nomination of the President. The Museum’s Board of Curators is comprised of 19 full-time Yale faculty members, including the Director, who are appointed by the Corporation on nomination by the President. The current governance structure at the Museum integrates the academic expertise of its faculty curators with the professional skills of a full-time staff. The Director, aided by senior administrative staff, bears responsibility for management. In 1995, a formal collaboration was established among the Yale Peabody Museum, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. This environmental partnership recognizes the Peabody Museum as a resource and catalyst for interdisciplinary research on the earth’s history and environment, and seeks to strengthen the intellectual ties between the Museum and other groups with a shared interest in environmental research at Yale. The Museum’s collections are a major component of the research and teaching activities of the Peabody and Yale. The Curators and staff are engaged in contributing new knowledge based on the Museum’s research materials and making this knowledge available to the general public and to specialized audiences. All collections are used in undergraduate and graduate teaching and research, as well as in public programs and exhibitions. The Yale Peabody Museum fills many important roles on the Yale University campus, particularly as it has expanded its role in the community and the region, thereby offering a “front door” to the University for the general public.


Engaging Our Communities | Download the report here [PDF 2.1 MB]


Officers of Yale University | Yale Peabody Museum Board of Curators