School bus at the group entrance to the museum
Education :: Prepare for Your Visit

Museum Facts


Geological and Agricultural Building
  • The origins of the New York State Museum can be traced back to the 1836 establishment of the New York State Geological and Natural History Survey. The goal of the survey was to conduct "a grand and comprehensive collection of the natural productions of the State of New York."

  • In 1842, New York State Legislature officially created the "State Cabinet of Natural History", and in 1870, the Cabinet was officially renamed the "New York State Museum".

  • The Museum has been housed in several locations throughout downtowCapitol Firen Albany, including the Geological and Agricultrual Hall (pictured top right), the Court of Appeals Building, the Capitol Building, the State Education Building, and, at its present location, the Cultural Education Center.

  • In 1911, the Museum lost nearly 10,000 archaeological artifacts and ethnographic objects when the State Capitol was ravaged by fire.

  • The Museum is not just an exhibit space, but a major research and educational institution that conducts systematic investigations into the fields of geology, biology, anthropology and the history of New York.

  • Research at the MuseumThe Museum's collections include over 12 million specimens and artifacts that reflect over 175 years of research in the earth sciences, biology, and human history.

  • Today, the Musuem is the single largest tourist attraction in the Captial Region, welcoming over 750,000 visitors annually.

For additional information about the history of the New York State Museum, including the buildings it has occupied, its directors and reknown scientists, please visit our history web page:

Museum Open Tuesday-Sunday: 9:30 am to 5 pm | Carousel Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm
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