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 5-item ($35),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 and pay online or pay in-person at the time of your 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 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:

Tuesday 3pm - 7pm
Wednesday 3pm - 7pm   
Saturday 9am - 5pm


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.