Collection of Living Animals Opens to Public

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The Department of Living Animals opens to the public in a building on the south side of the eastern wing of the Smithsonian Institution Building, made of materials from the old demolished New Orleans Annex building. According to the United States National Museum Annual Report for 1888, the department had been established to afford the taxidermists an opportunity to observe the habits and positions of various species, and use this knowledge in mounting skins for exhibition.


  • South Yard
  • United States National Museum Dept. of Living Animals
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • United States National Museum


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 158, Curators Reports 1887-88 Living Animals, Box 5.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


December 31, 1887


  • Animal enclosures
  • Taxidermy
  • Animals
  • Exhibitions
  • Exhibit openings

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