Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
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The Chicago Academy of Sciences is one of America’s oldest scientific institutions, founded in 1857. Our scientific collections have been built since that time and have been used to help define human understanding of nature, ecology, and the diversity of life in the United States. The Academy’s collections include herpetology, mammalogy, ornithology, oology, entomology, malacology, paleontology, mineralogy, botany, photography and film, manuscripts and archives, and cultural artifacts.

Specimens in a collection are like a physical snapshot in time, containing irreplaceable information. Often, the knowledge that can be obtained through careful study of these authentic artifacts was not anticipated when the specimen was collected.

The museum collections have never been more accessible, thanks to grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. As of August 2012, every specimen in our collections was inventoried and digitally catalogued. Searches that used to take months now take minutes.

The number of specimens in each collection varies.  Here is a “by the numbers” snapshot that just scratches the surface of the collections.

  • 13,800 birds
  • 11,100 bird eggs and nests
  • 5,100  mammals
  • 22,800 amphibian and reptiles
  • 68,500 insects
  • 109,200  mollusks
  • 15,500 plants
  • 500 linear feet of manuscripts and other paper records
  • 1,300 motion picture films
  • 2,300 cultural artifacts
  • 100,000 photographic images
  • 22,000 fossils
  • 11,000 geologic specimens

Find out more here

2430 N. Cannon Dr.
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 755-5100

Monday – Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday – Sunday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
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