Since the Museum of Comparative Zoology was founded 160 years ago, numerous people have contributed to research, teaching, and public programs in paleontology. Local experts have helped curators determine where to look for fossils. Field collectors have faced difficult financial circumstances and challenging terrains. Museum assistants and administrators have classified specimens and organized collections. Researchers have published their findings and offered new theories. Preparators have reconstructed skeletons, and museum educators have shared scientific knowledge with broad audiences.
While many histories of Harvard’s scientific community have focused on individual professors, “Fossil Histories” highlights the collaborative and often invisible labor that has enabled the study of paleontology at the museum. Many of these individuals have received little public recognition, but their work was essential to the development and continued value of the museum’s fossil collections.
“Fossil Histories” is on display at the Ernst Mayr Library and Northwest Labs Building. Curated by Reed Gochberg, Lecturer in History and Literature, in collaboration with Ernst Mayr Library staff. Students, researchers, and museum professionals are encouraged to share their own stories with the hashtag #mczfossilhistories.