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The Institute

In 1984, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History was founded in Peterson’s hometown of Jamestown, New York, as an educational institution charged with preserving Peterson’s lifetime body of work and making it available to the world for educational purposes. RTPI holds a Permanent Charter from the New York State Education Department and is a 501(c)(3) institution located at 311 Curtis St.


In 1993, RTPI moved into a new 23,000 square-foot building, specifically designed by architect Robert A. M. Stern to preserve and display Dr. Peterson’s life’s work and collections and house the education offices of the organization. In state-of-the-art conditions, the RTPI archives contain Roger Tory Peterson’s manuscripts, paintings, still and motion pictures, and personal effects, as well as an extensive ornithological collection. His bird skin collection dates back to the 1800’s and includes several extinct species.


In 2013, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History joined with Jamestown Community College. JCC students interested in the natural sciences now have access to the RTPI’s outstanding wealth of resources. Please see more in this JCC virtual tour of RTPI which is an especially great watch if you have not yet had the chance to visit us in Jamestown, New York. Video produced by Patrick Myers ’14.

Here are some wonderful indoor panoramas of RTPI featuring the Art and the Animal exhibition as taken by Nick Gunner, President of Orbitist.com.

Today, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute offers high quality museum exhibits, interprets significant natural history materials from its collections, and offers nature education programs and events to people of all ages. RTPI is also at the forefront of active wildlife and plant conservation and management across the region and even nation while setting precedent in digital education. Please visit us soon!

You can find an eBird list of the birds recorded on our property here.

Visitor Hours:
Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Open Sunday 1:00 PM-5:00 PM

Closed Monday & Holidays*

Admission Fee:
Adults: $12
Seniors/Military: $10
Children & Students: $8
Family: $30
RTPI Donors: $5 Discount

*Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Years Day

Visit this page to see our room rental rates.