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The Wagner Free Institute
Of Science Of Philadelphia
1700 West Montgomery Avenue
North Philly
Philadelphia, PA 19121
Cross Street: Chestnut Street
215.763.6529
Hours Of Operation
Tuesday through Friday

9:00 am - 4:00 pm. Memorial Day, Independence Day, The 3rd full week in August for summer break, Labor Day - On Thanksgiving the Wenesday through Sunday, Christmas and New Year's.

The Wagner Institute’s nineteenth century exhibit hall, a soaring three-story space houses an extraordinary collection of natural history specimens including mounted birds and mammals, fossils, rocks and minerals, insects, shells, dinosaur bones, and the first American saber-toothed tiger, discovered on a museum-sponsored expedition to Florida in 1886. Gatd hered largely by founder William Wagner and Institute curators and faculty during the nineteenth century, the collections are displayed in Wagner Free Institute Of Science Museumcherry-wood and glass cabinets dating from the 1880s and maintain their original "systematic" scheme, providing a rare view of a Victorian science museum.

Highlights include William Wagner’s personal mineral collection, one of the oldest in the fossil collection in the country. Representing many important European and American localities and collecting sites of the nineteenth century. The mounted skeletons, skulls and skins represent species from around the globe, including many that are now endangered. The extensive regional entomology collection is notable for its arrangement, which includes the original handwritten curator’s labels.

Originally assembled to teach science, the specimens are arranged for study. The exhibit is one of the largest systematically arranged collections on display in the country and remains in active use as a key educational tool of the Institute’s free science programs. It also serves as a resource for scholarly research.

  • Admission: A donation of $8 is suggested for museum visitors. Guided tours are $15 for adults, $10 for members of the Institute and senior citizens, and $5 for children. Call for group rates. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Library: Tuesday - Friday, 9 am - 4 pm. Appointment required, contact the Librarian at 215.763.6529
  • Education: Reservations are required for all group visits. To schedule a children’s lesson or field trip visit, call the children’s education department at 215.763.6529 x17
  • Photography: Filming and photography are not permitted in the Institute.
  • Museum: The Wagner’s museum shop reflects its collections. Here you’ll find natural objects like trilobites and ammonites, geodes, amethysts and other minerals, starfish and seashells, and a wide selection of nature guides, posters, mobiles, and magnets. The shop is open during regular museum hours and for special programs.

  • Membership: One of the best ways you can help the Institute is to become a Friend. It’s also the best way to stay informed about what’s going on at the Wagner. All Friends receive our annual catalog, advance announcements for lectures and open houses, invitations to our new member programs, and a 10% discount in the Museum Shop. Members at the $25 level.
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