The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum located approximately five miles (8 km) east of downtown Cleveland, Ohio in University Circle, a 550-acre (220 ha) concentration of educational, cultural and medical institutions. The museum was established in 1920 by Cyrus S. Eaton to perform research, education and development of collections in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, botany, geology, paleontology, wildlife biology, and zoology.
Donald Johanson was the curator of the museum when he discovered "Lucy," the skeletal remains of the ancient hominid Australopithecus afarensis. The current Curator and Head of the Physical Anthropology Department is Yohannes Haile-Selassie.
In 2002, the new Fannye Shafran Planetarium was built near the entrance to the museum, containing displays on the planets in the Solar System, and historical instruments of exploration, such as compasses and astrolabes.
Museum collections total more than four million specimens and include specimens of paleontology, zoology, archaeology, mineralogy, ornithology, and a variety of other scientific subjects.
A beloved full-scale model of a Stegosaurus on the lawn delights Cleveland children.
Some of the more important specimens include:
The museum has made many discoveries over the years. Recently, in Vertebrate Paleontology, both the remains of a Titanicthis in Ohio and a new ceratopsian, Albertaceratops nesmoi, have been made. Both are expected to go on display eventually.
The Hamann-Todd Collection is a collection of more than 3100 human skeletons and over 900 primate skeletons that were assembled starting in 1893. The collection was originally housed at Western Reserve University Medical School in a new medical building that was built for that purpose. The first floor of this building contained the Hamann Museum of Comparative Anthropology and Anatomy. However, due to the costs of storing the bones, the collection was transferred[when?] to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
In 1893, Carl August Hamann initiated the collection. Its administration was taken over by T. Wingate Todd after Hamann was named dean of Western Reserve University's medical school in 1912. Todd managed to assemble the great majority of the human skeletons in the collection, over 3000, before his death in 1938.