The New York State Museum
The New York State Museum is a spacious building in the Empire State Plaza, a major government complex that includes the state capital in Albany. Its geographic situation at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers and Lake Champlain places it at the crossroads of the main thoroughfares between New York City and Canada, the Catskill and Adirondack Mountain ranges and New England and the west. The Museum attracts approximately one million visitors each year including thousands of school children that participate in programs surrounding the exhibitions. The Museum is free and open 362 days a year. This encourages a diverse population to have access to the cultural and scientific accomplishments that appear in Focus on Nature.
The Museum’s inception began in 1836 as a natural history survey and officially became the State Museum in 1879. It is the longest continuous state natural history research and collection survey in the United States. The Museum’s growth in the 19th century was based upon the contributions of preeminent scientists in mycology, entomology, paleontology, botany and ethnology. The tradition of high quality investigation and survey work continues and is reflected in the biennial Northeast Natural History Conference, a forum for current research.