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Wagner Free Institute of Science

Founded in 1855 in Philadelphia, the Wagner Free Institute of Science is dedicated to providing free public education in science. Its programs include free courses and lectures, field trips and lessons for children and museum tours for all ages.The evening science courses are the oldest program devoted to free adult education in the United States.
Overhead view of the Wagner's exhibit hall. Photograph by Rob Cardillo
The Institute’s Museum houses more than 100,000 natural history specimens, a collection begun by founder William Wagner in the early 19th century and expanded by the renowned scientist Joseph Leidy in the 1880s.Completed in 1865, the Wagner’s National Historic Landmark building is essentially unchanged since the late 19th century and includes a Victorian exhibition hall filled with fossils, shells, minerals and mounted animal skeletons and skins displayed in original wood and glass cabinets. The Museum is typically open to visitors Tuesdays - Fridays, 9 AM to 4 PM but is currently closed because of COVID-19. In the meantime, we hope you'll join us online!