Paleobiology Visitor Information
Important Notice: Hiatus in Research Visits and Outgoing Loan Preparation
The Department of Paleobiology Collections Management team will cease preparing and shipping outgoing specimen loans for nine months beginning November 1, 2013. We will also be unable to host research visitors for a period of one year beginning on the same date. These reductions in service are required by the large amount of collections work involved in the renovations of our permanent exhibits, and may be shortened or extended depending on exhibit needs; we will announce any changes.
The Department of Paleobiology will continue to receive and process loan returns and loan extension requests. Paleo Collections Management will continue to process and ship loan returns of material borrowed from other institution as per loan agreements.
Please send questions to Paleo Collections Management at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Paleo Collections Management staff will be unable to prepare and ship outgoing loans from November 1, 2013 through August 1, 2014.
- Requests for exceptions, including loans to be hand-carried, should be sent to Paleo Dept. Chair, Brian Huber.
- Paleo Collections Management staff will be unable to host research visitors from November 1, 2103 through November 1, 2014.
- Requests for exceptions should be sent to Paleo Dept. Chair, Brian Huber. It may be possible to arrange research visits through individual curators.
- Visitors already scheduled during this time period will remain on our schedule. Please contact your host if you have any questions.
For more information about the renovation of the NMNH fossil exhibits follow our page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/deeptime.smithsonian
Requesting an Appointment
The collections of the Department of Paleobiology are open to scientific researchers and students currently advised by researchers. Requests to visit the collections should be made at least two weeks in advance by sending a completed Visitor Registration Form to: email@example.com. Each individual requesting access must submit a separate form. If you are a returning visitor, you must submit a new form for each visit.
Hours and Access
The Department of Paleobiology is open to registered visitors Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. excluding federal holidays.
Permission to visit the Department of Paleobiology does not automatically grant access to other units within the Smithsonian—you must make separate arrangements with each unit.
The fossil collections are split between the National Museum of Natural History in downtown Washington D.C (1000 Constitution Ave, NW), and the Museum Support Center (MSC) in Suitland, Maryland (4210 Silver Hill Road).
Additional arrangements are required to examine specimens at the MSC. If you are visiting MSC, a shuttle bus leaves NMNH every weekday hour from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Please check with your Paleo Department host for return the return shuttle schedule. Allow an additional hour of commuting time for each day you study collections there. It is also possible to drive and park at MSC (4210 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746).
Arrival and Transportation
The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is located in Washington DC at 10th and Constitution Avenue, NW, and is easily reached by public transportation. There are subway stations at National Airport and Amtrak's Union Station, with stops at Archives, Federal Triangle, and Smithsonian all a short walk from the Museum.
New visitors should report to the security office at the main entrance to the museum on Constitution Avenue. Security will then issue you a visitors badge and contact the staff member designated to escort you to the Department of Paleobiology.
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