COVID-19 Information

PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with the Philadelphia Department of Health’s mask mandate, as of Thursday, August 12, 2021, everyone who enters the Science History Institute’s building must wear a mask. This includes staff, fellows, business visitors, contractors, library patrons, museum visitors, and conference center visitors.

Library visitors and Beckman Center fellows are also required to show proof of vaccination. Please read our COVID Vaccination Policy (PDF) for details.

Conference center event attendees must also show Institute personnel proof of vaccination (physical copy or photo on the attendee’s phone), including the vaccination place, date(s), attendee name, and vaccine lot number.

The Science History Institute’s museum is open to visitors Thursday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We encourage you to visit our new Downstream exhibition, which explores more than 200 years of water analysis and protection in the United States; Water Pics, our new outdoor exhibition; and our newly refreshed permanent galleries featuring new objects, stories, and discoveries. Admission is free and no advance tickets are required.

The Othmer Library is open to researchers by appointment only Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments must be made and confirmed 24 hours in advance. Reference requests, research assistance, and copy services are also available. Since many researchers are still affected by travel restrictions, we may waive fees for reasonable requests.

Our conference center is open for event rentals. You can plan your events by calling 215-629-5151 or emailing

You can also check out our digital exhibitions on Google Arts & Culture or join us for a variety of programs and events. New Distillations content is posted frequently and includes our ongoing Pandemic Perspectives series, which features topical stories and interviews with biomedical researchers, physicians, public health experts, and historians.

We encourage you to explore our free digital content and to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram where you’ll find engaging stories about the history of science, including links to articles, videos, podcasts, historical biographies, and our digital collections.

For more information and guidelines on COVID-19, visit the City of Philadelphia’s Coronavirus website or the CDC website.

We will revise our policies as new information and guidance becomes available.

Updated October 1, 2021