Last updated: 2/18/2011
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
phone: 215-299-1000
Monday - Friday10 AM - 4:30 AM
Sunday, Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
10:00-5:00 weekends and holidays
Adults (age 13 and above): $12.00
Children (age 3 through 12): $10.00
Children (under age 3): free
Seniors (age 65+): $10.00
Military & Students (with ID): $10.00
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
George W. Gephart, Jr., President and CEO
Amy Miller Marvin, VP of Institutional Advancement
Dr. Edward B. Daeschler, Vice President of Systematics and Library
Sara Hertz, VP of Strategic Initiatives
David Rusenko, VP of Administration and Finance
Dr. David Velinsky, VP of Patrick Center for Environmental Research
Barbara Ciega, VP of Museum Operations
Jacquie Genovesi, Senior Director of Education
Roland Wall, Director of the Center for Environmental Policy
Cathy Wilt, Library Director

The Academy Shop offers a wide variety of nature-inspired items for all ages, including educational toys and activity kits, a wide selection of books and field guides, real fossils and minerals, distinctive jewelry, and Academy-exclusive items. Every purchase made in our shop supports the Academys ongoing research activities and educational efforts. Members receive a 10% discount on all Academy Shop purchases.

Ecology Café: Enjoy a meal or a snack during your visit. Offerings at our café include made-from-scratch soups, delicious salads, quality sandwiches, freshly baked pizzas, and healthy snacks. The Café is located on the Ground Floor.

Event Rentals: The Academy of Natural Sciences will delight your guests with the beauty and excitement of the natural world. Dine in the shadows of the dinosaurs and sip cocktails on the North American plains. The wide variety of stunning spaces within the museum makes it simple to find an area that’s a perfect fit for every special event. Separately or in combination, these areas can accommodate 25 to 1,400 guests. In addition, we offer comprehensive audio-visual services and a spacious auditorium capable of sitting more than 400 guests.

For 200 years, the Academy has connected people to nature. As Philadelphia's natural history museum, we educate visitors of all ages. Our scientists study evolution, biodiversity and ecology, providing information critical to understanding the natural world. These efforts are supported by a collection of 17 million biological specimens and a celebrated natural-history library.


Our mission is the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences.


The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia was founded in 1812 "for the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences, and the advancement of useful learning." The unique aspect of this statement of purpose lies in the word "useful," a mandate the Academy has continuously redefined through research and education that reflects the societal needs of the times.

The Academy's history mirrors the evolution of the relationship between the American people and the natural world. The oldest natural sciences institution in the Western Hemisphere, the Academy was founded when the United States hugged the Atlantic coastline, and Philadelphia was the cultural, commercial, and scientific center of the new nation. Classic expeditions to explore the western wilderness, such as those led by Stephen Long and Ferdinand Hayden, were organized at the Academy. These explorers brought back new species of plants and animals, which were studied and catalogued; they formed the foundation of the Academy's scientific collections which now contain over 17,000,000 specimens.

he Academy opened its doors to the public in 1828. Here, the mysteries of nature were revealed, its chaos organized and labeled in Latin and Greek. The collections expanded so rapidly-through gifts, purchases, and exchanges as well as expeditions—that the Academy outgrew its building three times in sixty years. In 1876, its present home was built at 19th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway—then the outskirts of town, and now the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. With the opening of the new building, the Academy became a modern museum with areas for exhibitions and public lectures.

By the turn of the century, Academy expeditions were ranging farther afield, to the Arctic, to Central America, and later to Africa and Asia. Plants and animals collected during these excursions were incorporated into the Academy's magnificent dioramas, many of which were constructed in the 1920s and '30s. To capitalize on the educational potential of the dioramas, the Academy initiated classes for students in the School District of Philadelphia in 1932. In 1948, long before water pollution and environmental degradation became topics of public concern, the Academy established the Environmental Research Division. This marked the beginning of a broadened research orientation for the Academy, which included applied research in aquatic ecosystems as well as the traditional systematics research--discovering and cataloguing organisms. As noted in the statement of purpose, the Academy today is integrating its activities in research and education around environmental themes.

Artifact Collections

Our library and archives contain historically significant print publications, archival materials, portraits, illustrations and photography relating to natural history.

  • The library holds nearly 200,000 volumes ranging from works published in the 1500s to current serials and monographs, as well as 2,500 scientific journals. The archival collection contains approximately 250,000 items.
  • Research Collections

    The Academy houses nearly 18 million biological specimens with taxonomic depth and breadth in botany, diatoms, entomology, ichthyology, malacology, ornithology, Rotifera and vertebrate paleontology. Less extensive but historically significant collections include herpetology, invertebrate paleontology, mammalogy and mineralogy.

  • The Academy care for more than 17 million plant and animal specimens. They are used by researchers around the world and many have been designated national treasures.
  • Educational Programs

    Our family programs range from summer camp and birthday parties to family field trips. We also have scout programs.

    • Our Education programs include field trips to the museum, outreach, and teacher workshops (see
    • Our adult programs include lectures, author talks, workshops and field trips.
    • Our Center for Environmental Policy produce public forums and other events that address issues of substainability and citizen science.


    Lecture Halls

    Performance Areas


    Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Staff Only, Members

    Appointment required: Yes


    Quarterly member magazine and scientific publications listed below:

  • Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences
  • Monographs of the Academy of Natural Sciences
  • Notolae Naturae
  • ADA

    Wheelchair Accessible


    Gift Shop

    Special Event Rental


    Group Tours

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    March 11 - March 14, 2023
    Harrisonburg, Virginia
    Virginia Association of Museum's 2023 Annual Conference!
    Hosted by:
    March 14 - March 17, 2023
    Memphis, Tennessee
    2023 Tennessee Association of Museums Conference: Unfinished Revolutions
    Hosted by:
    April 23 - April 26, 2023
    San Antonio, Texas
    Texas Association of Museums 2023 San Antonio
    Hosted by:
    Charles Town, West Virginia

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