Department News

Specimen Collection Back in the Public Eye With New Website

March 26, 2018

Each year, more of the Department of Biology’s historical collection of specimens, models and casts are being exhibited in Hutchison Hall. 

This week marks a new milestone for the collection: the launch of the website that links our collection to material in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences and related catalogs, bulletins and correspondence housed in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation. 

With expertise from the River Campus Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Lab, anyone can investigate 3-D images of specimens, find out information on their worth in the late-1800’s, and (for some species) read early accounts about where these species lived and how they behaved. 

During the period between the Civil War and 1900, the study of natural history grew rapidly worldwide and the Ward Natural Science Establishment, located on the edge of the University of Rochester campus, was central in this growth. Most of the documentation for this period is housed at the University of Rochester. Powered substantially by undergraduate interest, the website at present is embryonic. However, the content is sure to evolve rapidly - so come back and visit often!