The La Plata Museum is a natural history museum in La Plata, Argentina. It is part of the Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo (Natural Sciences School) of the UNLP (National University of La Plata).
The building, 135 meters (443 feet) long, today houses 3 million fossils and relics (including 44,000 botanical items), an amphitheatre, opened in 1992, and a 58,000-volume library, serving over 400 university researchers. Around 400,000 visitors (8% of whom are from outside Argentina) pass through its doors yearly, including a thousand visiting researchers.
Childhood excursions with his father and older brother led the 14-year-old Francisco Moreno to mount a display of his growing collection of anthropological, fossil and bone findings at his family's Buenos Aires home in 1866, unwittingly laying the foundations for the future La Plata Museum.
Moreno spent the time between 1873 and 1877 exploring his country's then-remote and largely unmapped Patagonia, becoming the first white Argentine to reach Lake Nahuel Huapi and what was later named Lago Argentino ("Argentine Lake") and its imposing glacier (named Perito Moreno Glacier in his honor). The large body of man-made and paleontological samples he gathered and carefully classified during this survey (which also led to the first border demarcation treaty with neighboring Chile, in 1881) led to his establishment of the Buenos Aires Archaeological and Anthropological Museum in 1877.
La Plata (The Silver) is the capital city of the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and of La Plata partido. According to the 2001 census [INDEC], has a population of 740,369 and its metropolitan area has 894,253 inhabitants.
La Plata was planned and developed to serve as the provincial capital after the city of Buenos Aires was federalized in 1880, and it was officially founded by Governor Dardo Rocha on 19 November 1882. Its construction is fully documented in photographs by Tomás Bradley Sutton. La Plata was renamed Eva Perón City (Ciudad Eva Perón) between 1952 and 1955.
The city is home to two important football (soccer) teams: Estudiantes de La Plata, that play in the first division, and Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, currently in second division.