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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department ofVertebrate Zoology

Division of Mammals

Tarsius bancanus
Nycticeinops schlieffeni
Nycticeinops schlieffeni (Schlieffen's Twilight Bat), Mozambique. P. Naskrecki. © P. Naskrecki. Photo used by permission of the photographer.


The Division of Mammals is in the midst of a staff transition. Several long-time staff have recently retired, and it may be many months before we will be able to replace some of them. In the meantime, please understand that we may need additional time to respond to visitor requests and loans in particular. We will continue to serve the scientific community as best as we can under these circumstances.


Requesting an Appointment

The collections of the Division of Mammals are open to researchers and students. Requests to visit the collections should be made at least two weeks in advance by sending a completed Visitor Registration Form to mammalvisits[at] Each individual requesting access must submit a separate form. If you are a returning visitor, you must submit a new form for each visit.

Visitor Guidelines

Please review the Visitor Guidelines prior to your visit.

Hours and Access

The Division of Mammals is open to registered visitors Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. excluding federal holidays.

Permission to visit the Division of Mammals does not automatically grant access to other units within the Smithsonian—you must make separate arrangements with each unit.

Collection Organization

The mammal collections are split between the National Museum of Natural History in downtown Washington D.C (1000 Constitution Ave, NW), and the Museum Support Center (MSC) in Suitland, Maryland (4210 Silver Hill Road).

Specimens stored at MSC include the orders: Tubulidentata, Hyracoidea, Proboscidea, Sirenia, Cingulata, Pilosa, Lagomorpha, Pholidota, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla. Cetacea are stored at the Garber facility, adjacent to the MSC campus. The MSC is also the repository for most of our alcohol preserved specimens.

Arrival and Transportation

The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is located in Washington DC at 10th and Constitution Avenue, NW, and is easily reached by public transportation. There are subway stations at National Airport and Amtrak's Union Station, with stops at Archives, Federal Triangle, and Smithsonian all a short walk from the Museum.

New visitors should report to the security office at the main entrance to the museum on Constitution Avenue. Security will then issue you a visitors badge and contact the staff member designated to escort you to the Division of Mammals.

If you are visiting MSC, a shuttle bus leaves NMNH every weekday hour from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Return shuttles leave MSC on the half hour from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm. Allow an additional hour of commuting time for each day you study collections there. It is also possible to drive and park at MSC (4210 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746).

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