For this discussion I will be sharing about the Mingei International Museum in Santa Barbara.

 I had trouble finding a museum that fitted into cultural and natural history. Here is some context pulled from the site; The Museum was founded in 1916 by William Leon Dawson as the Museum of Comparative Oology. In 1923, thanks to Miss Caroline Hazard and Mrs. Rowland Gibson Hazard, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History opened its doors at the current campus. Later, in 1986 they added space and opened a sea life center.

The museum is a private nonprofit organization run by a board of trustees, not run by a board of directors. While the board of trustees is very similar, the board of trustees occasionally administers the museum. Usually a trustee is an overseer of charitable trusts, in this case they make sure that the museum upholds its mission and vision, they oversee staff.

This museum staffs eleven curators. They overlook collections based on mammals, birds, and marine life to geology, astronomy, paleontology, and anthropology. I chose this institution because of how many specimens they stated they had in their collection, which was around 3.5 million. Something they seem to be proud of, is when Einstein went to their museum and stated how he felt the museum was built around the work of love. The website has a quote from 1931 and a photo of Einstein, which is sitting at the top of the page when you go and click on about us. While I was on that tab, I came across the museum’s mission and vision. Which is,


The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History inspires a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world.


The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History seeks to connect people to nature for the betterment of both.

They stated how they achieve their goal by educating people of the dynamic and drastic changes from the causes and consequences from both local and global climate changes. In which they hope to inspire people to mitigate the economic climate changes.

They have been practicing going green, by going digital with their memberships, instead of using plastic or paper, they installed solar paneled lights in 2018, which cover at least 50% of the electricity and they also are a proud member of the 1% for the Planet; which is an international organization whose members contribute at least 1% for the causes to protect the environment.

I was unable to locate any codes of ethics or policies made open to the public. The website does have a set list of annual reports from previous years. And I will attach a link to their privacy policy. (

My question for you all, what do you think museums should make accessible to the public on their page.

2 Thoughts to “module 4, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History”

  1. Angela Linn

    Thanks for picking a fascinating museum! While I’ve certainly heard of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, I’m more familiar with the art museum in Santa Barbara. What a fascinating place! I’m really liking what I”m seeing on their about page: What unique institutional statements: Guest Experience Manifesto, Statement on Climate Change, Commitment to Sustainable Practices, Commitment to Responsible Investing — these are all “non-standard” guiding documents and they’re really claiming a contemporary voice by having these all in place. I can’t wait to dig a bit deeper into this west coast natural (and cultural) history museum.

  2. Kai Doak

    Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed reading about your museum, the going green initiative was especially fascinating. I think that having some kind of information on how the different exhibits and displays were created and funded would be a very interesting thing to explore.

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