The newest permanent exhibition at San Diego's Museum of Natural History, "Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science," is scheduled to open to the public Saturday.
The exhibit -- which includes displays of books dating back 500 years, along with historical documents, specimens, art and photographs -- tells the story of how amateur naturalists helped shape science as we know it today.
Many of the artifacts at the museum along El Prado in Balboa Park are on public display for the first time, according to the museum.
The exhibition uses 3,100 square feet of the 7,300-square-foot research library, which was previously accessible by appointment only.
"After decades of working with the library's treasures behind closed doors, it's a great honor to be able to share these historic artifacts with the public," said Margaret "Margi" Dykens, curator of Extraordinary Ideas and
director of the research library.
"The objects on display convey the impact citizen science has had not only on our organization, but the world at large," Dykens said. "I think visitors will be impressed by how well some of these rare books have been
preserved -- some of them date back to the 1500s and are in great condition."
The exhibition is included with general admission and is free for members, according to the museum. Free admission will be given to guests arriving between 10-11 a.m. Saturday, the museum said.