The Chicago Field Museum's financial straits are creating speculation that its leaders could be planning to sell off some of its collections, but officials insist that's not happening anytime soon.
But the Chicago Tribune reports that the museum appears to have at least explored the idea by creating a committee that determined that one of its rare book collections could be worth up to $50 million.
But Field spokeswoman Nancy O'Shea told NBC 5 that there are "no plans at this time to sell any more collections."
Some of the funds from previous sales of museum collections have been used to fund employee salaries, according to the newspaper.
The organization is under some financial stress, last month offering early retirement to more than half its curators as part of a wide-ranging effort to reduce debt.
The Field Museum was incorporated in 1893 and moved to its current location as part of a lakefront Museum Campus in 1921.