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Bell Museum of Natural History
10 Church Street SE
Phone: (612) 624-7083
Statement of Purpose
Minnesota's James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History:
Dedicated to exploring the diversity of life in the natural world,
and to promoting an understanding and appreciation of nature
through excellence in collections, education, and research.
Highlights & Collections
The Bell Museum provides visitors with the opportunity to experience
Minnesota's extensive biodiversity at one location, all year long, and
no matter the weather. Our spectacular dioramas (three-dimensional
representations of natural settings) offer you front-row seats on
nature. All major Minnesota habitats are represented in the museum
showing what out state looked like 150 years ago. Our very popular Touch
& See room appeals to the kid in all of us. In this exhibit we encourage
you to touch and explore natural history objects. Our annual program of
temporary exhibits makes every visit to the Bell Museum a unique
experience with such titles as "Saving Endangered Species, Saving
Ourselves?", "Peregrine Falcons: Return of an Endangered Species", and
"Birds in Art".
These exhibits are augmented by our exciting programs
for all ages, including:
- Interactive Tours and Classes for Groups
- Field Trips
- Children's Classes
- Family Programs like "Nest Building"
- Summer Camps
- Conferences and Lectures
- Book Signings
- Informal Courses
The Bell Museum is also home to the Blue Heron Bookshop, perhaps the
finest natural history bookstore in the Midwest. We specialize in:
- Field Guides - Regional and Global
- Nature Books, Prints, and Cards - Featuring Frances Lee Jaques
- Children's Books (always 10% off)
- Educational Toys, Books, and Curriculum Aids
- One of a Kind Gifts
- Nature Tapes, CDs, CD-ROMs, and Videos.
ORNITHOLOGY: Over 40,000 specimens in both the research and teaching
collections; Regions represented include upper Midwest and Southwestern
United States, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Phillipines, and both polar
MAMMALOGY: Over 16,000 specimens; Regions represented include upper
Midwest and Great Plains of the United States, as well as Mexico and the
ICHTHYOLOGY: Includes about 25,000 lots; representation includes North
American freshwater and estuarian species, species from Minnesota and the
Upper Mississippi drainage, as well as larval species from the Great
Lakes and Upper Mississippi Basins; Dates back to 1890s
HERPETOLOGY: Includes about 16,000 specimens and skeletons;
Representation includes North Central and some Southeastern United
States; Dates back to 1930s
INVERTEBRATE: The Malacology collection includes freshwater mollusks,
primarily collected from the Western United States and Minnesota, as well
as some marine mollusks; Total collection about 25,000 lots
NATURAL HISTORY ART: Consists of over 1,500 pieces of art; Includes a
complete set of Audubon's original double-elephant folio prints, the
largest collection of paintings and drawings by Francis Lee Jaques, and
numerous works by other artist-naturalists
OTHER COLLECTIONS: The Bell Museum also house an important collection of
North American seeds, and a collection of invertebrate and vertebrate
fossils from Minnesota and Wisconsin sites.
Exhibits & Special Events
- Tuesday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
- Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM
- Sunday: 12 PM - 5 PM
Admission & Directions:
- Members: FREE
- Adults: $3
- Youths 3-16, Students, Senior Citizens 62+: $2
- Children under 3, U of MN Students: FREE
- Every Thursday is free admission for the general public.
- The museum is accessible to the handicapped.
The Bell Museum is located on the Minneapolis campus of the University of
Minnesota, at the southwest corner of 17th Avenue (Church Street) and
University Avenue SE. Easy access from either I-35W or I-94. Call (612)
624-7083 for specific directions.
Check with us at a later date.
Scott M. Lanyon, Director
- Elmer Birney, curator of Mammalogy
- Kendall Corbin, curator of Systematics
- Susan Evarts, imprint Editor
- Jane Greenberg, learning Resource Kits Coordinator
- Scott Lanyon, director
- Don Luce, curator of Exhibits
- Frank Mckinney, curator of Ethology
- Gordon Murdock, curator of Public Education
- Chris Schopfer, blue Heron Bookshop Supervisor
- Amy Theisen, jason Project, Bell Live! Director
- Brenda Teats, membership Coordinator
- Nancy Walsh, associate Director
- Byron Webster, curator of Natural History Art
- Kevin Williams, curator of Exhibits
- Susan Weller, curator of Invertebrates
- Bob Zink, curator of Ornithology
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