Behind-the-Scenes Tours

These tours offer a rare and intimate peek into the various museum collections. Each tour is led by an expert who deals with that collection on a daily basis. The size of the group is limited to 10 people so that you will feel comfortable asking questions or commenting on collections, heirlooms preservation, or any other relevant topics such as NAGPRA, use, access, etc..

The minimum age limit for most tours is 10 years of age.

(Well-behaved children as young as 6 are welcomed on the paleontology tour.)

Tickets are $25 for the general public; $10 for members.

Purchase tickets online here.

Tour Tickets

Upcoming Tours

Archaeology
March 15, 4 pm
Tour guide: Gwenn Gallenstein,Flag Area Monuments Museum Curator
Tour MNA’s legacy Archaeology Collection which includes rare artifacts ranging from sandals to painted baskets and prehistoric murals to 1000 year old pottery.  Find out what researchers look for in potsherds and hear about recent findings that continue to inspire dialogue.

Archives
April 19, 4 pm
Tour guide: Melissa Lawton, archivist
Time travel through the past 90 years of MNA history. See personal papers from the Coltons and other prominent researchers, peruse old photos and gain insights into the care and content of museum archives.

Botany
May 17, 4 pm
Tour guide: Kirstin Phillips, botanist
Explore the flora of the Colorado Plateau, from rare Pediocactus to a rainbow of historical Hopi corn. The MNA herbarium contains more than 40,000 specimens, some collected in the early 1900s. The plants, and the people who collected them, tell a story of a changing world and the impacts of humans on the environment.

Fine Arts
June 21
Tour guide: Alan Petersen, fine arts curator
Go behind-the-scenes and view a selection of the remarkable historic and contemporary works in the MNA Fine Arts Collection. Discover important works in our collection and the role of the MNA fine arts program. View paintings, drawings and prints from the nineteenth century to the present created by important Euro-American and Native American artists.

Ethnology
July 19
Tour guide: Tony Thibodeau
Join the Anthropology Collections Manager, Tony Thibobeau, in a whirlwind tour of the Ethnology Collections where you will have a chance to view MNA’s extensive holdings of Hopi and Navajo textiles, jewelry, pottery, baskets, etc. Hear how tribes access these holdings, the importance of stories, and find out how to care for your own treasured heirlooms. 

Fine Arts
August 16
Tour Guide: Amber King, MNA registrar
Go behind-the-scenes and view a selection of the remarkable historic and contemporary works in the MNA Fine Arts Collection. View paintings, drawings and prints from the nineteenth century to the present created by important Euro-American and Native American artists.

Archaeology
September 20, 4 pm
Tour guide: Gwenn Gallenstein,Flag Area Monuments Museum Curator
Tour MNA’s legacy Archaeology Collection which includes rare artifacts ranging from sandals to painted baskets and prehistoric murals to 1000 year old pottery.  Find out what researchers look for in potsherds and hear about recent findings that continue to inspire dialogue.

Archives
October 18
Tour guide: Melissa Lawton, archivist
Time travel through the past 90 years of MNA history. See personal papers from the Coltons and other prominent researchers, peruse old photos and gain insights into the care and content of museum archives.

Ethnology
November 15, 4 pm
Tour guide: Tony Thibodeau
Join the Anthropology Collections Manager, Tony Thibobeau, in a whirlwind tour of the Ethnology Collections where you will have a chance to view MNA’s extensive holdings of Hopi and Navajo textiles, jewelry, pottery, baskets, etc. Hear how tribes access these holdings, the importance of stories, and find out how to care for your own treasured heirlooms. 

Past Tours

Botany
Kirstin Phillips, Botany Collections Manager
Friday, October 19, 4 pm

Join MNA Botanist Kirstin Phillips in an exploration of the flora of the Colorado Plateau, from rare Pediocactus to a rainbow of historical Hopi corn. The MNA herbarium contains more than 40,000 specimens, some collected in the early 1900s. The plants, and the people who collected them, tell a story of a changing world and the impacts of humans on the environment.

Sold out  Archives
Melissa Lawton, Archivist
Friday, Nov. 16, 4 pm

Time travel through the past 90 years of MNA history with Archivist Melissa Lawton. See personal papers from the Coltons and other prominent researchers, peruse old photos and gain insights into the care and content of museum archives.

Paleontology
Janet Whitmore Gillette, Natural Science Collections Manager
Friday, August 17, 4 pm

View fascinating fossil plant and animal specimens and learn about the remarkable research conducted on the paleontology collections at the Museum of Northern Arizona on a Behind-the-Scenes Collections Tour.  Explore the ancient life of the Colorado Plateau from the Permian to the Ice Age. Learn why we house these specimens, how we care for them and how they are used in research. Highlights include dinosaur, plesiosaur, and mammoth fossils.

Archaeology
Gwenn Gallenstein, Flagstaff Area Monuments Museum Curator
Friday, September 21, 4 pm

Tour  MNA’s legacy Archaeology Collection which includes rare artifacts ranging from sandals to painted baskets and prehistoric murals to 1000 year old pottery.  Find out what researchers look for in potsherds and hear about recent findings that continue to inspire dialogue.

Collection Tour Rules

When visiting collections, attendees must adhere to the following rules for security and environmental protection of collections:
1.       A secure area will be provided to safeguard personal items.
2.       The following items are  not allowed in storage:
  • Food or Drink (including water)
  • Bags, briefcases, and oversized purses   
  • Bulky coats or sweaters
3.       Activities not allowed in storage.
  • Running, shoving, or other disruptive behavior
  • Leaving the group to wander down aisles
4.       Many items are easy to break and fingers can leave residues, so resist the following natural urges
  • Do not touch or pick up items
  • Do not lean on shelving or cases
5.       MNA reserves the right to terminate the tour if we feel that collection security and preservation is at risk.
6.       Non-flash photography is allowed only to record general architectural features or general storage of collection objects. If you wish document individual objects, please place an image request with MNA's Archivist.