Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle

Categories: Specialty Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 55+ reviews on the web
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture is a natural history museum in Seattle, Washington, in the United States. Established in 1899 as the Washington State Museum, it traces its origins to a high school naturalist club formed in 1879. The museum is the oldest natural history museum west of the Mississippi River and boasts a collection of more than 16 million artifacts, including the world's largest collection of spread bird wings. Located on the campus of the University of Washington, the Burke Museum is the official state museum of Washington.HistoryYoung Naturalists SocietyThe roots of the Burke Museum can be traced to a natural history club formed by high school students in the 19th century. The group was formed in December 1879 by students Edmond S. Meany, J. O. Young, P. Brooks Randolph, and Charles Denny. Denny's father, city founder Arthur Denny, was a regent of the Territorial University of Washington and arranged for the group to meet on campus. The Young Naturalists adopted a constitution and bylaws, and the official name "Young Naturalists Society," in 1880. As the founding members graduated high school and matriculated to the university, the membership of the Young Naturalists expanded to include university students.In 1882 Orson "Bug" Johnson was retained as a biology instructor at the University of Washington, bringing 20,000 animal specimens with him. Johnson immediately involved himself with the Young Naturalists, and the addition of his collection gave the club the largest natural history collection in the Pacific Northwest. Under Johnson's direction, the Young Naturalists began expanding this nucleus of specimens and artifacts, which were stored in a backroom of the Denny home. A permanent structure to house the growing collection was built on the Territorial University's campus in 1886, with the club soliciting donations to fund its construction. Many specimens in the collection were regularly borrowed by university faculty to assist in instruction.
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  • Very interesting know them dinosaurs that inhabited makes million of years in the State of Washington, them first settlers of Seattle come of the Polynesian and that the name of the city comes precisely of a great Chief native of them founders, also know the costume and them customs of them different cultures that inhabit the city. Know them precious places that the mountain keeps to the visitors and that not you must lose. Mexican pride: the altar of the dead!
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  • Went with my son's 4th grade class. The museum is under construction. I think there was a lot that we didn't get to see because we were on the field trip. We only saw the downstairs area and then we h...  read more »
  • I found the visit to the museum very interesting. They have many different displays and sections. You can study gems, mammals, dinosaurs and Washington history. Plus they have a good cafe. 
  • You can spend and hour to an hour and a half here if you read and do everything in the museum. Stays very warm inside on hot days. The museum does a nice job of making local connections. The exhibits are small but well thought out.
  • Great museum! They are in the process if building a new one, but the current one is great. A lot of very cool historcial artifacts and exhibits.
  • A very cool museum with a variety of exhibitions. The cafe downstairs is also very good, and makes for a nice place to sit and talk.
  • Every UW student should take the time to visit. It was very fun and had interesting exhibits.
  • Nice display, hands on stuff for groups of kids. Onsite cafe has only ready made stuff, walk to restaurants on the Ave. Parking across the street during construction isn't so bad, gate guards are helpful.
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