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Best Museums in New Haven

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One would never guess that a Gutenberg Bible, rare prints by the famed ornithologist John Audubon, and other remarkable manuscripts and journals would all be located in this library in the heart of the Yale campus. Beinecke houses one of the largest rare book collections in the world, including more than 500,000 printed volumes and several million (yes, million) priceless manuscripts. The building is a rarity itself, designed to protect its holdings from solar damage with translucent marble "windows" that allow in only minimal light.

Little known to many visitors to the New Haven and Yale area, this museum is a wonderful treasure with displays of nearly 1000 musical instruments and other artifacts. The museum is one of the largest and most important repositories of musical instruments in the world, and is especially known for its collection of clavichords, harpsichords and pianos. Located on historic Hillhouse Avenue (described by Mark Twain as "the most beautiful street in America"), this quiet museum is not to be missed.

This museum boasts of the most comprehensive collection of British art outside the United Kingdom, which includes paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and rare books that chronicle British life from the Elizabethan period to the present. Fifteen hundred paintings showcase the likes of great landscape painters John Constable and JMW Turner. The museum also hosts concerts, lectures, family education days and symposia. The gift shop offers a wide range of collectibles, art reproductions and literature for both children and adults.

Venture into Yale's exciting natural history museum. This is the only museum in Connecticut with fossil dinosaur material on permanent display. The Pulitzer Award winning "The Age of Reptiles" mural (slightly outdated, but nevertheless a beautiful work of art in itself) depicts 300 million years of prehistory. Explore the cultures and peoples of the world through exhibits on Ancient Egypt, Mesoamerica, the Andes and the Great Plains, just to mention a few. It is best to visit during non-school hours.

Established in the year 1862, the New Haven Museum is one of the best spots in the city, especially if you want to gain brief knowledge about the local history. The museum comprises of a collection of artifacts from throughout New Haven’s history. Historic art, photographs, period furniture and more are all stocked under one roof here. The museum also hosts various temporary exhibitions as well as cultural programs through the year. Within the museum, you can also take a tour of The Whitney Research Library, that boasts of a collection of rare books and more than than 300 manuscript collections among other historic records and elements. Open five days a week, the New Haven Museum is a perfect place to gather some local historic knowledge.

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