The American Museum of Natural History has been collecting artifacts and specimens since 1869. As of 2014, it has amassed over 33 million objects (7.5 million of which are wasps, apparently). A vast majority of the objects are preserved and stored away from the public eye, but are still used for research purposes.
To showcase a bit about what goes on behind the scenes, the museum has recently started a monthly series called Shelf Life (the first episode of which is above). Each installment is only about 5 minutes, which feels too short for how interesting their work is.
Darrel Frost, curator in the Department of Herpetology, describes nicely his take on all the objects the museum has in its archives: