Princeton's Lost Museum: Arnold Guyot's E. M. Museum and the history of American natural science
In the late 19th century, Nassau Hall housed a natural science museum unlike any other. The E. M. Museum featured the second mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world and collections rivaling that of the Smithsonian. Far-flung institutions in Russia and Argentina wrote letters begging to exchange fossils. The museum's central room juxtaposed skeletons, aboriginal artifacts, classical statues and portraits of George Washington. The museum's organization was the brainchild of its first curator, the Swiss-American geographer Arnold Guyot. In this presentation, the adaptation of Harrison Blackman's spring Junior Paper for the department of history, he will take you on a guided tour through the historic museum with insight into Arnold Guyot's worldview: his education, religion and ambition to be remembered as one of the discoverers of the Ice Age. On this tour, we will also encounter the problematic social world of Guyot's time: creationism, racism and Manifest Destiny. Currently, The Department of Geosciences is housed at Guyot Hall.