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Museum centennial

Identifier: Film Collection no. 231

Scope and Contents

Filmed as an episode of the television show New York Illustrated, Museum Centennial focuses on the centennial anniversary of the American Museum of Natural History. Mary Lindsay, wife of the then Mayor of New York, hosts. Shown in the film are a school group at the skeleton of Apatosaurus (then named Brontosaurus) and various museum exhibition halls. Discussions with museum curators provide interesting historical background to several of these. Richard Van Gelder, Department of Mammals, discusses the then new Hall of Ocean Life and the blue whale; there are stills of the first museum building; the hand-blown glass models in the Hall of the Biology of Invertebrates are seen, as well as the Akeley Hall of African Mammals; and Colin M. Turnbull, AMNH anthropologist, discusses African heritage in the Man in Africa Hall. In the AMNH-Hayden Planetarium, chairman and astronomer Franklin M. Branley speculates on the implications of the impending first moon landing while standing before a moonscape. The film ends with photographs of scientists, explorers and President Ulysses S. Grant burying a copper box containing a time capsule in the museum corner stone in 1877. The narrator remarks that the museum itself will forever be a time capsule.


  • 1969

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (25 minutes) : sound, color ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (25 minutes)) : sound, color ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


Original format: 16 mm. print.



William Turque, producer and writer; Joe Vadala, photographer.

Museum centennial, 1969
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420