In 2006, the Dallas Museum of Natural History merged with two other cultural institutions (Science Place and The Dallas Children's Museum) and is now officially known as the Museum of Nature and Science. Dallas Museum of Natural History was established in 1936 as part of the Texas Centennial and has offered educational and enlightening exhibits to the community for years. The museum is located in Fair Park in Dallas which is only minutes from the downtown area.
Dallas Museum of Natural History is registered as a historic place due to its long history and antique facilities. It is also the only natural history museum in the northern region of Texas. Over the years, the museum has contributed to major discoveries, findings, and excavations which has earned the museum Smithsonian Institution Affiliation.
There are various exhibits at the Dallas Museum of Natural History that cater to both adults and children. There are seven main collections at the Dallas Museum of Natural History. The collections are Entomology, birds, mammals, live animals, rocks and minerals, malacology, and a place called the Mudge Library. The library carries thousands of volumes of educational resources including books that would be considered extremely rare.
The Dallas Museum of Natural History has over 280,000 specimens. Specimens include ecofacts, artifacts and several biological components from different classes of species. The museum is also home to many species such as turtles, insects, spiders, and other small mammals. The rocks and minerals collection account for 2,500 of those specimens. The rocks and minerals collection also emphasizes silicates. Silicate rocks come from the earth's mantle and crust - the rocks reveal interesting facts about the earth's history.
The Mudge Library is one of the most important bird libraries in the United States. It contains thousands of volumes of valuable information on ornithology. There are many antique and rare books that date back to 1536. It is a collection of pamphlets, journals, books, and illustrations that are related to many aspects of ornithology. The public can view the collections in Mudge Library by appointment only. Any books that visitors wish to borrow from the library must be requested through an application and then approved.
One particular museum exhibit that caters to children is the Texas Dinosaurs exhibit. The exhibit begins with a contemporary tale of where dinosaur fossils come from and how they arrive in the museum. Kids can experience what it's like to be a paleontologist by participating in a Fossil Dig that is a large sandbox filled with imitation fossils. Visitors to the museum can also learn about dinosaurs through the Prehistoric Fossils Exhibit. The entire exhibit contains fossils that the museum recreates.
Every year over 200,000 visitors explore the Dallas Museum of Natural History. The museum is a successful attraction for both tourists and locals who revisit the museum faithfully. The museum is fulfilling its mission and vision to promote a greater appreciation for the natural world through the stunning exhibits, interactive lessons, extensive library of archives, and educational programs. The Dallas Museum of History is open on a daily basis with the exception of major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.