FAQ

Basic Information

Getting Here

Your Reservations

Picking Up/Returning Items

 

Basic Information

Who can use the N. W. Harris Learning Collection at The Field Museum?

Anyone who creates an account and orders a membership package can use the N. W. Harris Learning Collection. The N. W. Harris Learning Collection is ideal for educators and the primary audience is teachers, but it's available to individual parents, libraries, day care centers or any other interested individual or organization. 

What items are available to borrow from the N. W. Harris Learning Collection?

The N. W. Harris Learning Collection has two item types available: Exhibit Cases and Experience Boxes. There are over 400 different Exhibit Cases (mini-dioramas) and 70 different Experience Boxes (hands-on kits) to choose from. The Exhibit Cases include a large number of taxidermied mammals and birds, as well as other animals. There are also many cases of plant specimens. Experience Boxes contain a small collection of artifacts, specimens, and/or other objects related to a specific topic. Topics vary from Ancient Egypt to animal skulls to fossils. All of the Exhibit Cases and Experience Boxes relate to the four areas of study at The Field Museum: anthropology, geology, botany and zoology.

Is there a fee to use the N. W. Harris Learning Collection?

In order to borrow items, you must create an account and order a membership package. The rental package is active for 12 months from the date of purchase or until you meet your item limit, whichever comes first. There are a variety of packages to suit your needs. If you want to try out the N. W. Harris Learning Collection, you can purchase a 1-item membership package for $10. If you plan to use the N. W. Harris Learning Collection fairly regularly throughout the year, choose a 10-item ($50) or 20-item ($70) membership package. Or, go for the 40-item membership package ($100), the best value for those who are consistently borrowing items from the N. W. Harris Learning Collection. Create your account online and pay in-person at the time of first scheduled reservation.  Credit/debit and check (made out to The Field Museum) are all accepted forms of payment.We also ask that schools or organizations contact us directly to discuss customized packages designed to serve multiple borrowers from the same organization. Email harris@fieldmuseum.org for more information.  

When can I visit the N. W. Harris Learning Collection?  Does it have the same operating hours as The Field Museum?

The N. W. Harris Learning Collection does not have the same hours of operation as The Field Museum. Though the N. W. Harris Learning Collection is not open every day of the week like the rest of the Museum,  we are open after the Museum closes for more convenient drop off and pick up times.  The N. W. Harris Learning Collection at The Field Museum is open:

Saturday, 9am - 5pm

Tuesday, 3pm - 7pm

Wednesday, 3pm - 7pm   

Can I visit the N. W. Harris Learning Collection to browse items even if I don't have a reservation scheduled?

Borrowers and general Museum guests are welcome to visit the N. W. Harris Learning Collection to take a look and get a feel for the many different items available. Note that during peak drop-off/pick-up times the N. W. Harris Learning Collection staff may not be able to give a full introduction to the materials, but the complete inventory is always available on our website.

 

Getting Here

Where is the N. W. Harris Learning Collection located at The Field Museum?

The N. W. Harris Learning Collection is located on The Field Museum’s Ground Level near the West Entrance. The address of the Museum is 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605.

Do I have to pay admission to get into The Field Museum if I am just visiting the N. W. Harris Learning Collection?

If you are visiting The Field Museum expressly to pick up or drop off items at the N. W. Harris Learning Collection during our hours of operation, you do not need to pay admission to The Field Museum. Simply enter via the West Entrance and tell the security guard you are visiting the N. W. Harris Learning Collection. Note that if you plan to explore the rest of the Museum you will need to get a Basic Admission ticket: Illinois teachers always receive free Basic Admission by presenting a valid school ID at the ticket counter. If you are visiting the Museum for an extended period of time, you will need to park in Soldier Field Garage. The Museum’s West Lot is for short, temporary parking only.

Can I park close to the N. W. Harris Learning Collection?

N. W. Harris Learning Collection members picking up or dropping off items can park in the Museum’s West Lot (on McFetridge Drive between The Field Museum and Lake Shore Drive). Parking spaces in this lot are reserved for Field Museum volunteers, but N. W. Harris Learning Collection members can park along the curb with their flashers on and enter The Field Museum via the West Door. Press the button at the gate and again outside the door to talk to the security guard to be admitted to the lot/building.

Do I have to pay for parking?

No - if you are parking temporarily in the West Lot exclusively to use the Harris Learning Collection you will not pay for parking.  If you are planning on staying and exploring The Field Museum, please park in Soldier Field Parking Garage and pay the daily rate (typically $19-$22).

 

Your Reservations

How do I reserve items?

As long as you have already created an account and ordered a membership package, you can reserve items 24 hours a day using our website. To reserve items, log-in to your account by clicking MEMBER LOGIN. Enter your email address and password, then click SIGN IN. Search for and click on the item you are interested in borrowing. Click on RESERVE to view the dates the item is available. Choose your pick up and return dates on the calendar. Once you have chosen your reservation period (7 to 28 days), click ADD TO MY RESERVATIONS. You can either continue adding more reservations or complete the check-out process. The items you borrow will be deducted from your membership package limit.  Please note - our website may not display properly/allow reservations to be completed in Internet Explorer.  We recommend using Firefox, Chrome or Safari.  Many apologies for the inconvenience - we are working to correct this problem!

How long can I borrow items?

Items can be borrowed for a minimum of seven days and a maximum of 28 days.  

How many items can I borrow at one time?

Borrowers can take out four items at a time.  Typically we suggest that you borrow no more than two Experience Boxes and two Exhibit Cases during any given reservation period. We've found that this is plenty of materials to fill your time. If you wish to borrow a large quantity of items at one time, please email harris@fieldmuseum.org to make arrangements.

Can I change my reservation pick up date?

To change your reservation pick up date, remove the item from My Reservations and reserve the item again. When you reserve the item again, you can choose a new reservation pickup date. This will not count against your limit of item reservations.

Can I change my reservation drop off date?

If you wish to return your items earlier than your original reservation, that is always a possibility.  If you wish to extend your reservation and borrow items for more than your confirmed reservation period, the extension must be approved. Email harris@fieldmuseum.org or call 312-665-7555 to request an extension.  Not all extension requests can be granted. If an item is scheduled to be used by another borrower, we will not be able to extend your reservation.

How can I look up the number of items I've used out of my package limit?

Log-in to your account by clicking MEMBER LOGIN. Enter your email address and password, then click SIGN IN.  Click on MY ACCOUNT and under "My Billing," click on "View my membership package information."  The number of items remaining and number of items used for your current package will be listed. 

What happens if I use up all the items from my package?

If you use all the reservations from your package before the 12 month expiration of your membership package, and attempt to make a new reservation online, you will be prompted to purchase a new membership package.  The new membership package will start a new 12-month membership period and payment will be due in person upon first pick-up.   

 

Picking Up/Returning Items

Can I drop off or pick up items outside of the open hours of the N. W. Harris Learning Collection?

No. The only time you can return or pick up materials from the N. W. Harris Learning Collection is during our hours of operation: Saturdays 9am-5pm, Tuesdays 3pm – 7pm, or Wednesdays 3pm – 7pm. Items that are not returned directly to N. W. Harris Learning Collection staff will be not be considered returned and late fees will be charged.

What happens if something gets broken or lost?

A replacement fee will be charged for lost or broken items.  This fee varies depending on the cost of the item lost or broken.  A minimum fee for any broken item is $2.00.  A minimum fee for any missing item is $5.00.  Certain items that are at a high cost to replace/repair will require an additional fee of 20% of the value of the item.

What happens if I return something late?

A late fee will be assessed for items that are returned more than one day past their due date.  The late fee is $1.00 per item, per day.  Days are counted by the number of days the N. W. Harris Learning Collection was open for operation.  For example, if an item was due on Saturday and not returned until the next Saturday, the fee would be $3.00 because there were three days open for operation (the first Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday) that the item was not returned on.  To avoid a late fee, please email harris@fieldmuseum.org in advance of the due date to request an extension.

If you have any additional questions, please email harris@fieldmuseum.org

 

 

 

 

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