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State museum puts fossil, biological specimens online


The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS) has opened the door to more than 110,000 fossil and biological specimens. Thanks to an anonymous gift, the museum’s collection records are now publicly available through Arctos, an online database, at www.nmnaturalhistory.org/search-collections/search-collections.

Arctos provides research-grade data to scientists and facilitates public access to the data and images.

NMMNHS curators and collections staff will continue adding to the database, with photographs, 3D links to specimen models, research and discoveries. It is managed by a consortium of organizations and museums with data from natural and cultural history collections.

“The transition to Arctos will make the museum’s collection data available to the world, creating opportunities for anyone, anywhere to learn from and add to the scientific infrastructure of New Mexico," said NMMNHS Bioscience Curator Jason Malaney. “We are excited to share the collection information and related research, and we hope this resource will open new doors for collaboration, develop novel educational opportunities and better engage with the public."

NMMNHS is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. NMMNHS was established in 1986 with a mission to preserve and interpret the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of New Mexico through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning.

NMMNHS offers exhibitions, programs and workshops in geoscience, including paleontology and mineralogy, bioscience and space science. It is the Southwest’s largest repository for fossils and includes a planetarium and a large-format 3D DynaTheater.