Bishop Museum's mission since founding has been to study, preserve and tell the stories of the cultures and natural history of Hawai'i and the Pacific. Within this mission, serving and representing the interests of Native Hawaiians is a primary purpose of the Museum. Founded in 1889, the Museum gives priority to activities associated with the collections and favors activities that integrate culture and natural history (or the environment) rather than approaching them separately. Bishop Museum's collections consist of 24 million objects and specimens; its research represents over a century of work by its anthropologists, archaeologists, biologists, and geologists. More than 300,000 children and families visit the Museum each year to experience exhibits, educational programming, and special events.