Nicholson, Thomas D.

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Thomas Dominic Nicholson was with the American Museum of Natural History for 35 years, rising from planetarium lecturer, 1952-1953, to museum director, 1969-1989.

With a background in the merchant marine and service in World War II, Nicholson earned degrees in astronomy while teaching navigation and astronomy. He became a lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium, was made associate astronomer in 1954, then director. In 1969, Nicholson was appointed director of the AMNH, following James A. Oliver. Nicholson faced reduced government subsidies, but chose to expand and modernize the museum rather than cut facilities and services. During his tenure, the endowment fund increased from $46 million to $143 million, and annual attendance went up from 2.1 million to 3.1 million. The museum opened seven new halls and renovated others and, starting in 1979, produced eight "blockbuster" exhibits, including Gold of El Dorado (1979-1980) and Ancestors : four million years of humanity (1984). Nicholson retired in 1989, but retained emeritus status, and an office in the museum, until his death in 1991.

From the description of Papers, 1969-1989 (bulk 1969-1980). (American Museum of Natural History). WorldCat record id: 56730902

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Paricutín Expeditions (1943-1944). Mexican field photographs, 1943-1944. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Stout, Gardner D. Papers, 1963-1971 (bulk 1968-1971). American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Margaret Mead memorial program photographs, 1979. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Lerner Marine Laboratory. Collection, 1947-1977. American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Moon rock exhibition photographs, 1969-1970. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Feather arts exhibition photographs, 1980. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Nicholson, Thomas D. Papers, 1969-1989 (bulk 1969-1980). American Museum of Natural History
creatorOf American Museum of Natural History. American Museum of Natural History reports and surveys, 1962-1984. American Museum of Natural History
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. corporateBody
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. Paricutín Expeditions (1943-1944) corporateBody
associatedWith Lerner Marine Laboratory. corporateBody
associatedWith Stout, Gardner D. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
Subject
Natural history museums
Museum directors--Correspondence
Occupation
Activity

Person

Active 1963

Active 1971

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SNAC ID: 5453947