Natural History Collection

The EcoTarium was founded in 1825 as the Worcester Lyceum of Natural History, and is one of the oldest Natural History Museums in the United States. Our oldest specimen, a whale’s tooth, was collected that same year. We’ve been adding to our collection ever since, and now have approximately 50,000 specimens.

We have over 300 specimens on permanent display, and hundreds more that are available during special programs. Each of the following fields of study are represented in our collection:

  • Batrachology (Amphibians, such as frogs and toads)
  • Botany (Plants)
  • Entomology (Arthropods, such as bugs and spiders)
  • Geology (Rocks)
  • Herpetology (Reptiles, such as lizards)
  • Ichthyology (Fish)
  • Malacology (Clams and snails)
  • Mammalogy (Mammals, such as bears and squirrels)
  • Mineralogy (Crystals)
  • Mycology (Mushrooms)
  • Oology (Eggs)
  • Ornithology (Birds)
  • Osteology (Bones)
  • Paleontology (Fossils)

To view the specimens that aren’t on display, please go to our Online Collections Database.

Research requests, loans to museums, and other collections inquiries can be directed to the Collections Management Specialist Martin Christiansen,

Interested in helping us inventory our collection; or photographing, measuring, and taking notes on specimens? Become a Collections Volunteer! Check out our volunteer opportunities for more information.