Chicagoans give life to Field Museum specimens

Monday, July 24, 2017 05:25PM
The Field Museum is filled with stuff. There's human-made stuff known as artifacts and naturally-occurring specimens.


CHICAGO - The Field Museum is filled with stuff. The museum has human-made stuff, or artifacts, and naturally-occurring specimens--more than 30 million of them combined.

Some are very big, like Sue the T-Rex. Others are so small you need to lean in to see clearly. And many are never seen, since the museum only puts roughly 1 percent of its collection on display.

Now, The Field Museum is evening the playing field, giving those specimens a voice.

In the coming months, the special exhibit "Specimens: Unlocking the Secrets of Life" will add recorded messages from these scientific treasures-- sort of. The Field Museum invited Chicagoans to record their voice as THE voice of a museum specimen. Some will be included in this exhibit, which pulls back the curtain on The Field Museum's vast collection.

The new displays include a giant clam-shell that you can touch, a snake in a jar, and lots of bugs. Don't forget the birds; The Field Museum collections include 90 percent of the planet's known bird species.

The Field Museum started its archive in 1893 and continues to amass new specimens--so there may be another chance for you to give a specimen personality in the years to come.
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