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Bell Museum of Natural History

10 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN

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:

The Bell Museum is also home to the Blue Heron Bookshop, perhaps the finest natural history bookstore in the Midwest. We specialize in:

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 regions; Computerized

MAMMALOGY: Over 16,000 specimens; Regions represented include upper Midwest and Great Plains of the United States, as well as Mexico and the Phillipines; Computerized

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


Admission & Directions:

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.

Key Personnel:

Scott M. Lanyon, Director

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