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How the Smithsonian Natural History Museum Collects the World

Science By

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History has over 144 million objects and that number only increases over time. Director Kirk Johnson (who oversees the museum) and other employees helped Great Big Story take a tour of the museum to understand how they handle a job of this scale. The numbers involved are just so overwhelming. For instance, it has approximately 620,000 museum specimens of birds, which they estimate make up 85 percent of the diversity of birds on Earth. (Incidentally, this division is headed by a Dr. Carla Dove—her real name.) Watch the video below and marvel at how the museum’s collection manages to keep up with our planet.