Your browser is out of date.
This site may not function properly in your current browser. Update Now

Pember Museum of Natural History

Cultural Museums and Collections
Pember Museum and Library – The Pember Museum

The Pember Library and Museum were established in Granville, New York, in 1909, by Franklin Tanner Pember and his wife Ellen Wood Pember. Both institutions continue to operate in the building designed and built for this purpose. The Pember Library is housed on the first floor of the marble structure and the Pember Museum of Natural History is located on the second floor.

Franklin Pember was born near Granville in 1841. He was an entrepreneur, with interests in the fur trade, oil fields and orange groves. From boyhood he was interested in the natural world and collected mounted birds and mammals, bird nests and eggs, shells, insects, plants and rocks and minerals. This collection became the basis of the Pember Museum.

After Franklin Pember died in 1924, the Museum was neglected and its funding depleted. The Museum was forced to close to the public for almost 40 years, until 1973, when the Friends of the Museum revived the Pember, cleaning and restoring the collections and the building. In 1979, the Pember Museum acquired 125 acres of land south of Granville, which became the Pember Nature Preserve in Hebron. The historic Porter Schoolhouse adjacent to the Preserve was given to the Museum by the Granville School District in 1987, for use as a nature center.

The library is accessible by ramp the museum is on the second floor and not accessible at this time. Future plans are for a full service elevator included in the expansion project.


For 102 years, the Pember Library and Museum of Natural History have provided a combination of distinctive local library services and programs and a unique and valuable museum collection for the enjoyment and educational pursuits of area children and families.

The Pember Museum Collection contains one of the largest natural history collections in upstate New York and provides educational programming to the schools of Warren, Washington, Saratoga and eastern Vermont counties. The mission of the Pember Museum is to conserve the collections of Franklin Pember and to exhibit them in the original museum setting, consistent with the initial, early twentieth century installation. We strive to facilitate the widest possible use of the Museum and Pember Nature Preserve, providing access to the facilities for students and researchers. We provide natural history education services to schools, special groups and general audiences.

The museum is located on the second floor of the Pember building and consists of a large gallery space with 13 fixed cases of cherry and glass. The cases house over 1200 mounted specimens of birds and 500 mounted mammals, as well as rock, egg, mineral and reptile collections. A room located in the attic houses the majority of the original insect, egg, historic artifacts and herbarium collections.

Don't Miss This When Visiting

Over 1000 specimens of plants found both locally and from around the continental United States. Iridescent butterflies from around the world in every shape, color and size make up the largest portion of the insect collection. Insects that mimic leaves and sticks and the large Rhinoceros and Hercules Beetles are among the many insects on display.


Season And Hours Open

Year round Tues 9-5, Wed -Fri 1-5 & Sat 10-3pm