Teaching and research are supported by the University’s extensive collections—the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, the Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the Collection of Musical Instruments. All the collections are open to the public.
The Yale University Art Gallery, founded in 1832, today houses a collection that has grown to rank with those of the major public art museums in the United States. Its two connected buildings house ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art, Near and Far Eastern art, archaeological material from the University’s excavations, Pre-Columbian and African art, works of European and American masters from virtually every period, and a rich collection of modern art. Across the street, the Yale Center for British Art, which opened in 1977, holds the largest collection of British art and illustrated books anywhere outside the United Kingdom.
Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, founded in 1866, contains one of the great scientific collections in North America. Among its holdings are the University’s comprehensive mineralogical and ornithological collections, the second-largest repository of dinosaur artifacts in the United States, and the largest intact Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus) in the world. The Peabody is truly a working museum, where public exhibition, research, conservation, teaching, and learning intersect.
Institutions like the Art Gallery, the Center for British Art, and the Peabody Museum hold only a portion of the treasures in the University’s collections. From paintings by Picasso, to pterodactyl remains, to a 1689 tenor viol in the Collection of Musical Instruments, Yale’s possessions are meant to be accessible to the communities they enrich.