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Unseen Treasures on Display at the Natural History Museum of Utah

Now celebrating five years at the Rio Tinto Center

Saturday, November 5, 2016

This year’s annual Behind the Scenes event is one of five signature events commemorating the Museum’s 5th anniversary move to their modern mountainside home. For only two days, Saturday and Sunday, November 12-13, 2016 from 10am to 4:30pm, the doors to Museum labs and collection rooms will be open to the public.


Curious young scientists and visitors of all ages will get an insider’s view at collections not usually on public display. Currently, only about 3,500 science specimens and cultural artifacts (less than 1%) of the Museum’s 1.5 million objects are visible to visitors throughout the Museum’s 10 permanent galleries. The rest of the collections are carefully catalogued and placed in climate-controlled storage areas, where the Museum houses:


·      Close to one million anthropology artifacts (human origin, behavior, culture)

·      200,000 entomology specimens (insects)

·      More than 135,000 botanical specimens (plants)

·      73,000 vertebrate zoology specimens (mammals, birds, amphibians & reptiles)

·      40,000 malacology specimens (shelled creatures, including some that are now extinct)

·      Nearly 30,000 paleontology artifacts (plant & animal fossils)

·      More than 5,000 rocks and mineral specimens


“With so many priceless objects in the collections, says Executive Director Sarah George, “we hope the people of Utah will get excited about this unique opportunity to see fascinating objects, learn about how they are cared for, and talk with scientists about their current research, studies and discoveries.”


Visitors to this year’s Behind the Scenes will also be the first to witness another portion of the fifth anniversary celebration happening this weekend—the Museum’s newly redesigned three-story glass Collections Wall located in the heart of the Museum’s Canyon area. Because too much exposure to sunlight can negatively impact delicate objects, the massive collections wall will be given a brand new look about every five years.


Museum Members will be treated to light refreshments in the Members-Only Hospitality Suite available throughout the weekend. Admission is free to members.


For the general public, Behind the Scenes is included in the price of regular admission.


This year’s Presenting Partner is American Express




About the Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah is one of the leading scientific research and cultural institutions in the country. Established in 1963, Museum collections contain over 1.5 million objects and offers innovative exhibitions and educational programs to thousands of residents and visitors each year, including traveling and permanent exhibits, special events and other programs. With more than 250,000 visitors a year, the Museum also offers a variety of outreach programs to communities and schools throughout Utah, reaching every school district in the state annually. The Museum has an active scientific research program with more than 30 scientists and 10 field expeditions each year.