Since 1899


Collections at BCM

Brooklyn Children’s Museum is one of only four children’s museums in the United States to hold an educational collection. Since its inception in 1899, BCM has acquired objects through private donations, and donations from Brooklyn Museum. BCM’s collection is now comprised of approximately 30,000 natural history and cultural objects ranging from Paleolithic to ancient to modern day, making the collection an encyclopedia of cultures across the globe.

Collections objects are used throughout the Museum in exhibits and programs, serving as a primary resource to engage children with natural history and cultures. BCM’s collection’s mission is use objects as hands-on learning tools to support and deepen experiential and inquiry-based learning. The Museum’s collection is maintained at the highest ethical practices and standards of preservation, in accordance with our Collections Management Policy.

Each object in the BCM collection embodies ideas that are entry points for children’s learning. Our science specimens tell the stories of evolution and of Earth’s geological changes. Our endangered species specimens tell a cautionary tale of why we need environmental protections. Our cultural objects speak of lives of past civilizations, and show how those people have formed the foundation for how we now live. The shapes, colors, forms, textures, patterns, and materials of our objects allow children to explore, fail, ask questions, and use their imagination.

BCM fundamentally believes that children’s engagement with objects fosters learning experiences that cultivate empathy and prepare young visitors to be thinking, critical, kind, and engaged citizens of the world.

Learn about our Rapid Response Collecting Task Force here.

Cultural and Natural History Collections

For more information about Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s Collections, contact Kate Calleri, Manager of Collections Interpretation, at kcalleri@brooklynkids.org.