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New galleries coming to Idaho Museum of Natural History; walk-in store, galleries to be closed during transition

November 24, 2009
ISU Marketing and Communications

New galleries highlighting the Idaho Museum of Natural History’s increased emphasis on research will be constructed during winter and spring 2009-10. Because of this the museum’s galleries and IMNH's walk-in Museum Store will be closed from Dec. 18 to July 1.

Through Dec. 18, the Museum Store is offering a sale on its entire inventory on the following discount scale: a 10-percent discount on purchases of $1 to $24; a 15-percent discount on $25-$49; a 20-percent discount on $50-$75; and a 25-percent discount over $75. The museum’s E-store will not close and items from it can be ordered online via the link at http://imnh.isu.edu/.

"It’s not unusual to close down a museum between exhibits," said IMNH Director Ernest "Skip" Lohse. "We'll be replacing some exhibits that have been up for years and replacing them with a variety of exhibits that demonstrate our research mission."

In addition, during this temporary closure the museum will be reorganizing its collections, and completing an inventory of all its collections and a database to conform to the dictates of its accreditation review.

The closure and inventory are being timed to coincide with construction of a new ADA-approved elevator that will be constructed on the east end (closest to the Pond Student Union) of the ISU Museum Building during roughly the same time period. During the elevator construction period access to portions of the building will be limited, and the museum’s visitor parking spaces will be occupied by construction equipment.

The IMNH will begin taking down its Dinosaur Times in Idaho exhibit on Nov. 30 to begin the process.

The museum’s restructuring that was announced this summer involves creating three new divisions – anthropology, earth sciences and life sciences – each managed by a new division head. Anthropology is directed by anthropologist Herb Maschner, earth sciences by geoscientist Leif Tapanila, and life sciences by biologist Charles "Rick" Williams.  The new exhibits will focus on the research efforts of these new divisions.

"Thanks to our research-driven mission, the general public should see more new exhibits, a quicker turn-around of exhibits and more programming," Lohse said. "The public will see a more active Idaho Museum of Natural History. The first fruits of our restructuring will be available to see this coming summer."


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