Very few large fossil sites around the world are privileged enough to have an on-site museum, which specialists call an in situ
The Natural History Museum of the Parc national de Miguasha
belongs in this category. An on-site museum creates very close ties between the various components of the museum, including research, preservation and display.
At Miguasha, fossil excavation takes place only a short distance away from the fossil identification and preparation laboratories, and to the rooms that house the collections. (64 kb)
This proximity greatly facilitates the simultaneous management of the fossils and the museums collections. Similarly, on-site research constantly enriches and improves the museums education program.
Visitors of all ages come to see the museums permanent exhibition hall, which is dedicated to Miguashas rich fossil heritage. And for the past thirty years, the guided tour has also included a visit the fossil site. Of course, this access is for educational purposes only, and the parks rule prohibiting fossil collecting by visitors is respected.(48 kb)
Another example of an on-site museum at a Canadian fossil site is that of the recently opened natural history museum at Joggins, Nova Scotia. Joggins is representative of the Carboniferous Period the geological period following the Devonian appropriately known as the Age of Coal. The Joggins authorities are currently trying to get the site accepted onto the UNESCO World Heritage List.