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

Now more than ever, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is inspiring new generations of scholars, scientists, and enthusiasts of the natural world. Whether your interest is dinosaurs, birds, the history of human culture, gems and minerals, insects and plants, or the wonders of our universe, the treasures housed within the collections throughout the museum greatly enhance teaching and learning, and often are the keys to important scientific discoveries.

The Peabody Museum is one of the oldest and largest university-based natural history museums, with more than 13 million objects housed in 10 different divisions and representing more than 4 billion years of geological, biological, and human history. These collections are historically important, and all are in active use by scholars from Yale and elsewhere. Museums and the expertise that surrounds them are vibrant elements of Yale’s culture of scholarship and teaching. The kinds of questions we can ask of objects has exploded with the availability of new analytical techniques. Similarly, ‘big data’ approaches are now allowing us to reveal never-before-seen patterns in collections. Reaching beyond the Yale campus, our connection to the public remains strong. We welcome over 150,000 visitors to the Museum each year, including tens of thousands of school children who benefit from programs ranging from staff-led tours and lectures to a college preparatory-focused afterschool program.

We look forward to your visit!


- David Skelly




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.


Officers of Yale University | Yale Peabody Museum Board of Curators