The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s preeminent museum and research complex. The Museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programmes. At the center of the Museum’s exhibition and research programmes are its expertly documented collections: more than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artefacts. To name just a few of the museum holdings, the collections include 30 million insects carefully pinned into tiny boxes; 4½ million plants pressed onto sheets of paper in the Museum’s herbarium; 7 million fish in liquid-filled jars; and 2 million cultural artefacts, including 400,000 photographs housed in the National Anthropological Archives.
The partnership with Creative Multilingualism is led by Dr William Merrill in the Department of Anthropology at the museum. Dr Merrill is developing a programme on 'Indigenous Languages and Natural History' and is contributing to the programme primarily through the compilation and analysis of linguistic and anthropological data related to the natural history knowledge of the members of Indigenous societies of the New World, and by serving as a link to scholars throughout the world who are engaged in research in this area.