Time Trails at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

March 4, 2013

Time Trails Gallery Exploration Opening March 6 through December 6, 2013

Explore the concept of time in unexpected places at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and at the three other Harvard Museums of Science and Culture (Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, the Semitic Museum, and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments). It’s all part of a new exhibition Time and Time Again: How Science and Culture Shape the Past, Present, and Future, opening March 6 at Harvard. 

Throughout human history, few ideas have eluded clear definition more than the concept of time. Time-related verbs abound: we find it, keep it, measure it, obey it, take advantage of it, waste it, save it, even kill it. We use common notions of it to construct and organize our lives, and yet, do we really know what time is?

Time and Time Again will draw upon materials from several of Harvard’s important museum and library collections to explore answers given to that question in various ages by different world cultures and scientific disciplines.

The exhibition will be based at Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments (in the Harvard Science Center, just north of Harvard Yard), and each of the other Harvard Museums of Science and Culture will have objects on display in the exhibition, as well as in their own galleries.

In Time Trails at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, visitors can explore various aspects of time embedded in exhibitions with the help of a self-guide map and a forthcoming smartphone app. Find extraterrestrial rocks “as old as time;” look closer at giant clams whose shells, like tree rings, show each year’s growth; or seek out fossilized dinosaur footprints crossing through a riverbed over 200 million years ago. Pick up the Time Trails map at the museum front desk, free with museum admission.

About the Harvard Museum of Natural History

With a mission to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the natural world and the human place in it, the Harvard Museum of Natural History draws on the University’s collections and research to present a historic and interdisciplinary exploration of science and nature. More than 200,000 visitors annually make it the University’s most-visited museum.

One of the four Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, the Harvard Museum of Natural History is located on the University campus at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, a seven-minute walk from the Harvard Square T station. The museum is open daily 9 am to 5 pm, and admission is $12/adults; $10 seniors/students and $8 youth age 3-18. For more information, please see the website, at www.hmnh.harvard.edu or call 617.495.3045. 

Media Contact:

Blue Magruder

Director of Communications

Harvard Museum of Natural History



Released: March 4, 2013 

See also: Press Release