Our museums will be closed until further notice to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Our first priority is the well-being and safety of our guests, staff and volunteers. Stay up to date with NHMLAC's response to COVID-19.​​​ Nuestros museos estarán cerrados hasta nuevo aviso para minimizar la propagación del COVID-19. Ve la respuesta de NHMLAC ante el coronavirus (COVID-19).

Our Collections

We maintain a large and world-renowned archive of the world’s nature and cultures.

We support our own and the rest of the world’s scholars by building and preserving an archive of objects, artifacts, and specimens from the natural world and human cultures, across the whole globe and from the present to billions of years ago. Our collections support current research and await future research uses no one has even thought of yet.

Sometimes we also use these objects, artifacts, and specimens in support of exhibitions and public programming, and visitors can see some of them on display, but those are not the primary purpose for the research collection. At the end of the day, it is an ever-growing record of nature and culture for anyone to use to better understand our world.

Coelacanth Fish
Coelacanth Fish
Did you know? Coelacanth fish “walk” on their fins like land animals use their legs.

Recent Acquisitions

Turaco specimens in a drawer in the bird collection.

Photo by Julia Wilde

We recently added a specimen of a turaco, a bird that is not an L.A. native.  Read more here about why this specimen is so exciting!

Stone sculpture of a tree frog

Photo by KT Hajeian

This Australian White-Lipped Tree Frog is one of 36 pieces recently donated to NHM by sculptor Lu Huan Wang. Read more here!

"October belongs to Coyote"  Navajo Basket

This basket is made of sumac that was gathered along desert streams in the Douglas Mesa of Utah by Navajo weaver, Betty Betsinnie Rock. According to the vendor (Twin Rocks Trading Post in Utah), “through elements of design, Betty’s basket represents the month of October. Because October belongs to Coyote, it is always a bit chaotic. Weather patterns are in flux, people are modifying their behavior in anticipation of winter, and the environment is adapting to cooler weather. Change is the keyword here. Betty’s basket expresses the mood with Coyote tracks all around and giant whirligig in the center. The red and white color scheme represents the change in light and character of the new season.”

Callistocypraea broderipii

Lindsey T. Groves, Malacology

Callistocypraea broderipii (Gray, 1832), from off Natal, South Africa (LACM 181358). This species was once one of the great rarities of the shell world until it's deep water habitat was discovered in the 1970's. Since then more specimens have been collected but it is still considered a rare species. This is the first specimen of this species in the Malacology collection.

Worldwide cone shells

Lindsey T. Groves, Malacology

Worldwide cone shells donated by Robert Sinclair

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We recently added a specimen of a turaco, a bird that is not an L.A. native.  Read more here about why this specimen is so exciting!

Photo by Julia Wilde

This Australian White-Lipped Tree Frog is one of 36 pieces recently donated to NHM by sculptor Lu Huan Wang. Read more here!

Photo by KT Hajeian

This basket is made of sumac that was gathered along desert streams in the Douglas Mesa of Utah by Navajo weaver, Betty Betsinnie Rock. According to the vendor (Twin Rocks Trading Post in Utah), “through elements of design, Betty’s basket represents the month of October. Because October belongs to Coyote, it is always a bit chaotic. Weather patterns are in flux, people are modifying their behavior in anticipation of winter, and the environment is adapting to cooler weather. Change is the keyword here. Betty’s basket expresses the mood with Coyote tracks all around and giant whirligig in the center. The red and white color scheme represents the change in light and character of the new season.”

Callistocypraea broderipii (Gray, 1832), from off Natal, South Africa (LACM 181358). This species was once one of the great rarities of the shell world until it's deep water habitat was discovered in the 1970's. Since then more specimens have been collected but it is still considered a rare species. This is the first specimen of this species in the Malacology collection.

Lindsey T. Groves, Malacology

Worldwide cone shells donated by Robert Sinclair

Lindsey T. Groves, Malacology