Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College
The Amherst College Museum's collections reflect the historical journey of scientific inquiry at Amherst College and of western culture in general. The building is compact. but the collections are amazing.
Amherst College's collections include over 200,000 objects spanning a dozen different types of natural history collections.
These objects have been acquired through expeditions, exchanges, donations and purchases from the 1820s to the present. Many items come from local areas, while many more are from sites in Africa, Asia, and South and Central America.
The Museum's exhbitis include archeological artifacts, minerals and meteorites from the local area and around the world, fossil skeletons of a mammoth, mastodon, dire wolf, saber-toothed cat, Irish Elk and cave bear; the world’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks, skulls of a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Triceratops and a diorama with a model showing what some local dinosaur species might have looked like.
A Note for Parents
The Amherst College Museum of Natural History is appropriate for people of all ages, including young children. However, most items on display in the museum cannot to be handled. Signs and labels are designed for visitors with an understanding of high school laboratory science. There are some displays in drawers that children are too small to use.
Tuesday-Sunday 11-4 pm
Thursdays 6-10 pm
Rte 9, Amherst, MA, 01002 map
Phone: (413) 542-2165
Take I-90 (Mass Turnpike) to Exit 4 (I-91)
Take I-91 north to exit 19 (Rte. 9)
Take Rte. 9 east to Rte. 116 south
These roads intersect at a stoplight at the top of a hill.Most Amherst College buildings are in front of you and on your right; downtown Amherst is on your left.
From parking lots or the garage in the center of the town of Amherst: From the intersection of routes 9 East and 116 South, walk 3/10 of a mile down the hill, following route 9 East. Just before the purple and white railroad bridge, take a right onto (unmarked) East Drive, and walk past the Campus Police Building. At the stop sign, turn right up (unmarked) Barrett Hill Road. The Museum is a red brick building with a metal roof. The main entrance is located approximately half way up Barrett Hill, facing the south. There is a small stone patio in front of the entrance.
- You may only get an hour out of this museum with young children, but the college setting is fun to walk around and there are plenty of fun cafes nearby. The Eric Carle Museum is a short drive away on the campus of Hampshire College.
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