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 2016

In October of 1866 George Peabody arrived in New Haven to present a gift of $150,000, establishing the Peabody Museum of Natural History. His generosity and foresight helped build the sciences at Yale and created one of the first university-based natural history museums in the United States.


One hundred and fifty years later the Peabody is a thriving public institution and home to world class research. This fall we will mark our anniversary with exhibitions, events, behind-the-scenes tours, and a film series. Our celebrations will be anchored by a birthday weekend—October 22 and 23—during which we will open David Friend Hall, a brand new gallery featuring spectacular minerals and gems from around the world.


We are also really pleased to announce that among our anniversary events will be the opening of PEABODY2, an offsite gallery space in New Haven’s Broadway District that features never-before-exhibited objects from Australia and Southeast Asia - on view now at 1 Broadway in New Haven. This is an exciting time for the Museum. I hope you will join us as we celebrate the legacy of George Peabody’s wonderful gift.




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