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It is the mission of the Staten Island Museum to document, research, preserve, collect, interpret and exhibit significant objects and themes in the areas of natural science, art and local history, with the goal of educating, celebrating and enriching the community of Staten Island in particular, and the New York Metropolitan region in general.
Founded in 1881 as the Natural Science Association of Staten Island, the Staten Island Museum was established to begin the colleciton of natural science specimens to keep a record for future generations.
As New York City's only actively collecting general interest museum, we exhibit, interpret and preserve over a million natural science specimens, artworks, historical objects, archival documents, photographs and books. The Museum has been instrumental in the founding of other cultural organizations on Staten Island and has also greatly impacted Staten Island's environment; contributing to the preservation of the Greenbelt and establishment of other environmental organizations.
Today the Museum presents exhibits focusing on the Natural Sciences, History and Art and has just broken ground on what will become its new home at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, also located on Staten Island. This recent development will triple the Museum's exhibit space, allowing curators to bring even more of its collection to the public. The Snug Harbor site is also home to the Museum's History Center and Archives, which contains thousands of books covering five centuries. More than 15,000 books and 10,000 periodicals concentrated in natural history, art and history are housed within the library.