Burke Museum

The Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington is the oldest of its kind West of the Mississippi River. It is Washington’s official State museum. The Museum has a collection of artefacts totaling 16 million, with a large collection of bird’s wings that are spread for all to see. The Burke acts as a research facility in subjects like Anthropology, Mammalogy, Herpetology, Botany, Ornithology, Geology and Paleontology. Burke relies highly on its finds and research and asks all who visit to respect what it is on display.

In fact, the 16 million artefacts that are on display serve a variety of purposes: like the education of 70,000 students and Pre-k-12 school kids who look to the programs that travel all over the state. Researchers around the globe look to the artefacts as resources for their studies; like the health of the Puget Sound, and boat making techniques that have become undervalued or no longer in use. The Burke’s collection is preserved to aid them in the past and future of biodiversity and the museum’s cultural heritage is just as important for research. Burke Museum

»Young Naturalists Society

Young Naturalists Society

The Young Naturalists Society started off as an idea by a group of naturalists in the 19th century and was led by Orson ‘Bug’ Johnson. The Burke museum that know stands in the place of the history club was once a meeting ground that embraced the bylaws and constitutions, and formed the official name, ‘’Young Naturalists Society’ in 1880. In 1882 Orson, a biology instructor at the University of Washington had a love for bugs and retained 20,000 in his grasp; bringing them back, and developing the largest natural history collection in the Northwest (Pacific.) The artefacts were stored in a backroom, and Johnson pushed forward more and more specimens for further dissection and understanding.

The Burke museum is now storing a huge catalogue of specimens/assortments that have left its past in the shadows. ‘The Herpetology section’ stores amphibians and reptile samplings, while the ‘Ichthyology’ section preserves 11 million fish sampling, that is one of the largest in North America. The ‘Genetic Resources’ anchors many animal tissues that are used for future and current research, and has revealed copious details to their notes. ‘Malacology’ has 250,000 mollusk specimens taken from clams, snails, and chiton and nautilus snails and ‘Ornithology’ is the Science behind the history of the environment and past populations. The other biological sections remain under heavy examination and protection as the past, present and future remain sealed in the museum's haven. Photo: Burke Museum

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The exhibits that happen at the Burke Museum vary accordingly with contexts and descriptions of the life that once was in our environment and eco – system. Looking at the ‘Wild Nearby’ dips into the biological diversity that the North Cascades offer. The exhibition communicates how wildflowers, frogs and woodpeckers detail how the region is changing. ‘Washington’s First Dinosaur’ unearths the fossils of an 80 million year old ancestor that once walked the earth before humankind. The therapod dinosaur left behind a left femur bone and was discovered by wondering paleontologists by the shores of Sucia Island State Park. ‘Treasures of The Burke’ is a colorful display of more than 100 objects, with colorful gems, glittering works of art, and a multitude of colorful birds to be seen and not heard. ‘Pacific Voices’ gives a voice to the many cultures that lived around the Pacific Rim. The exhibition works as a cultural inclusion – including 17 ethnic communities and tribes. The categories of this exhibition are teachers and elders, language and stories and ceremonies. The Burke shows the Inupiaq’s whaling culture, the sounds of the Hulu, and the Korean’s traditional wedding ceremony. It brings together the Pacific, and unifies residents to their past neighbors.

The Burke Museum asks visitors the question of ‘Why Study Evolution?’ The Burke curators have been conducting research on ‘the great family tree’ and are presently looking to find the answers that glue all living things as one. Other exhibitions include: ‘Life and Times of Washington,’ ‘Erna Gunther Ethnobotanical Garden’ and ‘Kanu Kaho’olawe: Replanting, Rebirth.

The Burke offers educational programs that aid the development of all who wish to join. The Grades start from Pre –K, all the way to college and adults, and offer programs like ‘Rock and minerals,’ ‘Fossils,’ ‘Rock, Paper, Feathers,’ and ‘Middle School Museum Experience’ and are aimed at the younger generation. In 2019 a new building will be opening; turning the museum into an inside-out experience. Address: Burke Memorial Wash. St. Museum (BMM), Seattle, WA 98105, Phone: 206-543-7907 Photo: Burke Museum

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Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington