• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California


Museum and Archives reference services are closed to the public through July 20, 2014, and no in-person appointments are available. You may leave a phone or email request during this time and the Archivist will respond when she returns after July 20. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Red Barn Exterior

Museum and Archival Research Services are located in the Red Barn at Bear Valley

The Point Reyes National Seashore Museum holdings include natural history specimens, archeological collections, historic objects, and archives. The collections are made accessible to the public for research, exhibits, and educational uses. They are preserved in a climate-controlled collection storage and research facility at the park headquarters in Bear Valley. Access to collections is by appointment, 415-464-5125, or through research requests by email.

The biology collections include insects, vertebrate and invertebrate voucher specimens, and an herbarium. Natural history collections include paleontology and geology type sample collections from the Point Reyes Peninsula and Tomales Bay areas of the Seashore.

Artifacts, archives, and art document prehistoric Coast Miwok material culture, 16th century explorers of the area during the first contact period, Mexican settlements, and the extensive dairy ranching and coastal maritime history of West Marin. Beginning with the gold rush era through today, the archives include manuscripts, photographs, maps, and oral histories. The archive is also a federal repository for Point Reyes National Seashore's permanent records (1962–present) documenting resource management and administration of the park.

The Library contains non-circulating books, audio visual materials, and subject reference files of print materials. These focus on the themes described above, particularly rare and unpublished materials. Also available are papers, studies, theses, dissertations, and journal articles produced through contemporary scientific studies and research at the park on natural and cultural topics.

Did You Know?

Humpback whale spout

Marine biologists have identified nearly a third of all known marine mammal species in the waters surrounding Point Reyes. Blue whales and humpback whales feed here during spring and summer months. Gray whales migrate past our shores twice a year on their round trip from Alaska to Baja. More...