About the Registrar Department | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Registrars document the condition of objects during the deinstallation of an exhibit.

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Why is Our Collection Important?

The Registrar's Office is the repository for all of the original accession and loan records that date back to the opening of the Museum in 1913. Collections staff and researchers regularly consult our accession files to find background information on objects and specimens in the collections, verify accession numbers, or confirm connections between objects and specimens and the corresponding donors. 

Registrars' Contact Information

General registration-related inquiries
can be directed to:
Tel:  (213) 763-3406
Fax: (213) 746-3628

Jessica Lui, Assistant Registrar
(213) 763-3472

Susan Oshima
Director of Collections & Research Resources Chief Registrar
(213) 763-3407

Molly Sjöberg, Associate Registrar
(213) 763-3403

Cassandra Vadas, Assistant Registrar
(213) 763-3406


About the Registrar's Office

The Registrar's Office operates under the Research and Collections branch of the Museum. Susan Oshima, Theresa Manalo, and Kristen Hayashi work to ensure the safety and integrity of all the collections and incoming loans to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County family of museums, including the George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tarpits and the William S. Hart Museum.

The registrars maintain appropriate legal documentation for these artifacts and specimens, whether stored within the collections or on display. They process and update records of all collections-related transactions at the Museum, including donations, purchases, incoming and outgoing loans, exchanges, deaccessions, and field collected specimens, and report this activity each year to the Museum Boards. They administer coverage of the collections under the Museum's Fine Arts insurance policy. The registrars are also essential to the planning and production of new Museum exhibits, where they oversee the deinstallation and installation of objects and specimens to halls and galleries.

The Registrar's Office and NHMLA Next

Chief Registrar Susan Oshima (front and center) oversees the safe transport of the Aztec Calendar, formerly on exhibit

De-installation and installation of exhibits under NHMLA Next

Beginning in 2006, the Museum's Native American, Cenozoic, Dinosaur, Ancient Latin American, and Marine Halls were all deinstalled to accommodate a major earthquake retrofit project to the original 1913 structure and the 1920s addition. The Registrar's Office oversaw the planning and administration of the deinstallations. Teams consisting of collection and exhibit staff, conservators, and registrars took on the task of assessing the condition, photographing, and relocating the objects and specimens that were once on exhibition in these galleries.

Planning for new, upcoming exhibitions

Working alongside designers, exhibits, and collections staff, the registrars and conservators advocate for the safety and integrity of the objects and specimens that will be exhibited. The Chief Registrar has represented Registration and Conservation throughout the planning process of the new, upcoming exhibits and is the liaison for Research and Collections regarding construction matters related to the Museum Project. The registrars have been working with the curatorial staff to maintain the object and specimen lists forWhat on Earth, and Age of Mammals, and for the upcoming Dinosaur Hall, and Under the Sun exhibitions. The registrars will oversee the future installation of the new exhibitions and will work to inventory, condition report, and install the artifacts and specimens alongside exhibits, collections, and conservation staff.