NYC's Museum of Natural History Unlocks Thousands of Photos From Vault

The AMNH is sharing more than 7,000 photos from its private photo archives. Want to know what the museum looked like in 1878? Keeping reading.

Photo courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History An 1880 view of the museum from the roof of the Dakota Apartments at 72nd Street and Central Park West. The American Museum of Natural History recently unlocked thousands of images from its vault, offering glimpses into the history of the museum as well as New York City. You can view them on the museum's website.

If you needed another reason to call the American Museum of Natural History one of the best museums in the city, here's a good one: It just published thousands of digital photos that formerly resided in its private archives, and the trove is quite impressive. One of our favorite collections in the online database is the Photographic Collection, which documents the museum's history — from images of the building itself to staff members setting up exhibitions that look terrifically retro. A particularly great photo shows the museum in the 1800s, back when uptown was flat and barren. Another, more recent photo shows the famous blue whale under construction in the Hall of Ocean Life.

If you love the museum, or if you're just a fan of historic NYC photos, check out our gallery below.

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