Our collections include approximately 140,000 specimens, objects, and artifacts. Our entire database is not yet online, but researchers, faculty, instructors, students, and others needing more detailed information on our collections should contact our collections manager, Cindy Opitz, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-335-0481.
The main divisions of our collections are:
Note that paleontology collections at the University of Iowa are held by the UI Paleontology Repository, not by the Museum of Natural History, and most archaeology collections are held by the Office of the State Archaeologist. Botany and mycology collections formerly part of the University of Iowa Herbarium (IA) are now part of the Ada Hayden Herbarium (ISC) at Iowa State University.
Our significant and named collections include:
- 1890-1895: Kallam Collection: 700 stone tools from Tama County, Iowa
- 1892: Talbot Bird Collection: 7,000 bird skins & ornithological library
- 1892-1895: Frank Russell Collection: ethnographic materials, birds and mammals (see list)
- 1904: Philippine Collection, St. Louis World's Fair: ethnographic materials (see list)
- 1930: Jones Bird Collection: 600 mounted birds and 8,000 eggs
- 1877-1882: Birds and mammals collected by William Temple Hornaday during his time with Ward's Natural Science Establishment
Ice Age Research
Ice Age fossils are relatively common in Iowa. The Museum of Natural History has contributed to several excavations in the state, often in collaboration with faculty, staff, and students from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the Paleontology Repository, and the Office of the State Archaeologist. Read more about these projects below.
Mahaska County Mammoths: Multiple mammoth site containing at least one Woolly Mammoth. Discovered in Mahaska County, IA in 2010.
Troublesome Creek Giant Short-faced Bear: Iowa's first confirmed Giant Short-faced bear discovery. Found in Cass County, Iowa in 2008.
Tarkio Valley Sloth Project: A group of three Giant Ground Sloths; one adult, one adolescent and one juvenile, discovered in Shenandoah, Iowa in 2001.