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The National Museum was one of the cultural institutions of the United States of America. Based out of New York City, the museum also had branches in Washington DC, the nation's capital, and on the campus of Marshall College in Connecticut where Indiana Jones was a professor of archaeology.


Marcus Brody became assistant curator at the National Museum in 1913.[1] By the 1930s, Brody was promoted, and under him the museum's exhibits featured artifacts recovered by Indiana Jones.

In 1934, two mummies were stolen from the museum's Egyptian Room. Indiana Jones and his cousin took up their trail to retrieve them.[4]

After the death of Marcus Brody in 1952,[1] a statue erected in his memory on the Marshall College campus contained a plaque which included the National Museum's name and insignia.[5]


Behind the scenes[]

The National Museum is not named in Raiders of the Lost Ark.[6] Writer Lawrence Kasdan's screenplay had identified Marcus Brody as "Curator of the National Museum in Washington D.C." but the name was dropped when the script was reviewed for potential legal complications.[7] By contrast, Campbell Black's novelization of the screenplay refers to the institution by name while avoiding stating where it is located.[8] "National Museum" wouldn't be used on-screen until Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull included it on the insignia of Brody's memorial statue.[9]


An alternative National Museum insignia. The Latin translates to "find, discover, learn, educate".

The Marvel Comics series The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones (1982 – 1985) referred to "Connecticut's National Museum" positioning it on the campus of Marshall College[10]—Marvel's own adaptation of the film had mentioned the "university museum"[11]—while the Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook (1994) has Brody working at an unnamed museum in New York City during the same time period.[12] In 2008, Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide eventually established that the National Museum was based in New York but had branches situated elsewhere on the US east coast, including Washington.[1] Another branch may be located in Chicago as Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants notes that Brody moved from the city during Indiana Jones' college years to become director of an unidentified New York museum.[13]

Indiana Jones Cryptic appears to assert that the National Museum and the real-world American Museum of Natural History are one and the same. There, Brody sends Indiana Jones after the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol on behalf of the National Museum but the next page has a letter from Brody in his position as Director of Special Acquisitions for the "American Natural History Museum"[14] which is a title the character held at the American Museum of Natural History in Max McCoy's Indiana Jones novels.

An insignia for the National Museum was included in the Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb: 1935 Journal but a new design was made for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[15]



Notes and references[]