Trip Planner: USA / Massachusetts / Hampshire County / Amherst / Amherst College Museum of Natural History
The Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College is located on the campus of Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. It showcases fossils and minerals collected locally and abroad, many by past and present students and professors. The Museum is located in the Beneski Earth Sciences Building, completed in 2006. It is a member of Museums10.For Amherst College Museum of Natural History and beyond, use our Amherst sightseeing planner to get the most from your Amherst vacation.
The Beneski Museum of Natural History's collection dates back to the earliest days of the College. Edward Hitchcock, who joined the faculty in 1825 and served as the third president of Amherst College from 1845–1854, was deeply interested in the sciences and encouraged alumni to send back scientific specimens from all over the world. During his presidency, Hitchock raised funds for the building of the Octagon, the first home of Amherst's natural history collection. In 1855, the College built Appleton Cabinet with a donation from Samuel Appleton to house the Hitchcock Ichnological Cabinet, the Gilbert Museum of Indian Relics, and the Adams Zoological Museum.
The College's collections moved from various campus buildings to the former Pratt Gymnasium in the 1940s, creating the Pratt Museum of Natural History. The collection was moved to its current location in the Beneski Earth Sciences Building in 2006.
Today the Museum houses roughly 200,000 objects, including the College's historic Hitchcock Ichnological Cabinet of more than 1,700 slabs containing dinosaur footprints, one of the largest in the world - and one largely collected by Hitchcock himself. The collection also includes the world-famous "Noah's Raven," tracks discovered in South Hadley, Massachusetts in 1802 that constitute the first dinosaur fossil to be collected in North America — 40 years before dinosaurs were even recognized as a distinct fossil group. Researchers from all over the world come to use the Museum's collections in their work.
Amherst College Museum of Natural History Reviews
This is a nice spot to check out some cool fossils and dinosaur footprints (a big mammoth and giant elk and Sabertooth are the highlights) along with a big stone and mineral collection and some exhibi... more »
It's a little small, but they have a great variety of bones and minerals. Great displays and the plaques are nicely thought out. The only issue is that there is very little parking. more »
This place is amazing - such a hidden gem! According to Poke Stop introduction in the game Pokemon Go, it has the largest collection of dinosaur footprints! It's a fun place for both curious adults and kids!! It's free too! =) Strongly recommend if you're in the vicinity!
This place is just amazing and well displayed. Good for kids and adults. Free parking lot. It has 3 levels where the dinosaurs and some other animals such as the elk and some horses etc.. there is also a wide variety of rocks and archeological creatures. A good spot to spend some quality learning time.
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