Welcome to the Yale Peabody Museum collections! This is the home for over 14 million specimens and objects from 10 curated collections that tell the story of our Earth, its life, history, and cultures.
We invite you to learn more about each of our curatorial divisions and its collections and to explore our collections database portal.
Click on any of the images below to learn more about each collections division:
Office of Collections & Research
Several departments support the Museum’s dedication to the preservation, documentation, and research of the Peabody’s many holdings. Each is staffed with museum professionals who contribute to the Peabody’s and Yale University’s commitment to collections stewardship.
The Peabody’s curatorial divisions are governed by the Museum’s collections policies and best practices document. Collections are available to researchers for scholarly use and loans are issued to individuals at established institutions. Loans and access can be arranged through the curatorial division’s collections manager.
Collections at the Yale Peabody Museum are stewarded by curators who hold faculty appointments in a Yale University academic department. The honorary titles of Faculty Affiliate and Curatorial Affiliate are granted to individuals who give of their time and expertise to a curatorial division. Affiliates are appointed by a vote of the Board of Curators and typically serve a 5-year renewable term.
The Yale Peabody Museum has an extensive and rich archive of materials related not only to the history of the Museum, the individuals involved in its founding, and the early days of its collections, but also to the early history of higher education in the natural sciences in the United States, especially in paleontology.
The Yale Peabody Museum is committed to providing broad access to its collections for teaching, learning, and research, and makes available a variety of digital assets and associated information for specimens, objects, and archival items housed in the Museum. For information and access to Peabody Museum archival material, contact the Peabody’s Archivist. Additional archival materials are also available through the Yale Library’s archives.
Peabody Museum of Natural History
P.O. Box 208118
New Haven, CT 06520-8118 USA
The Conservation Laboratory actively supports and promotes the Yale Peabody Museum’s mission to preserve and protect the collections entrusted to its care. The Lab is involved in all aspects of collections care and handling at the Museum. Care and treatment of specimens and cultural materials is guided by the principle that the integrity of an object should be preserved in every possible way. Because the Peabody collections are used primarily for research, our approach to the treatment of the collections is conservative. We are always aware of the research potential of the collections in our care and whenever possible nothing is done to impair or compromise it.
The conservator is involved in all aspects of collections care and handling—how specimens are stored, what materials will be in the display case, and whether they will travel by truck or airplane to another institution for study or exhibition, among others. Conservation work is multi-faceted, involving both active treatment and passive, or preventive, measures, as well as the development of new treatment techniques.
The Peabody’s Conservation Lab has collaborated with the Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage on several projects. One such project was the conservation, photographing, and rehousing of 180 tapa cloths—thin “cloths” created from the inner bark of trees that have been crafted for thousands of years in Oceania—from the Museum’s Division of Anthropology collections.
The Yale Peabody Museum’s collections are available to legitimate researchers for scholarly use. Loans are issued to responsible individuals at established institutions. Loans and access to the collection can be arranged through the Collections Manager of the appropriate Division.
For facilities assistance contact: