Field Museum offers insights for your personal history collections

CHICAGO (WLS) -- At the Field Museum, there's always plenty to see and learn about. But this weekend, the museum's team is helping visitors discover the story behind their own collections of natural history.

On the annual "ID Day," Field Museum PR and Science Communications Manager Kate Golembiewski says guests can bring "their rock collections, their fossils, their pinned insects... bones that they've found."

you're encouraged to bring in anything-from petrified wood to fossilized feces (if you have that kind of thing lying around). If you've seen a living creature that caught your eye, bring photos too!

"this is the perfect chance to meet an expert and find out what magical stuff you've just been hanging on to in your basement," Golembiewski added.

She said the museum's pro staffers know what they're looking at in moments, no complex testing needed to tell you what you've been hoarding.

"It's really amazing how quickly our scientists are able to identify things," she said.

The Field hopes ID Day will remind Chicagoans that the museum is more than displays; it's a bustling research institution with lots going on behind the scenes. They'll lift the curtain a touch for the event and bring out items like "birds and fish preserved in jars and fossils and all kinds of amazing stuff you don't normally get to see," described Golembiewski.

For natural history collector Joann Ronkowski, being the first to stumble upon specimens (especially bones) is a thrill.

"That's the cool thing about it," Ronkowski said of those discoveries.

On ID Day, which is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can experience this joy for free with no cost general admission for Illinois residents.

So if you've stumbled upon any skulls or picked up any shells, bring them in-who knows what you'll learn!
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