Research & Collections


Collections Managed by the Dept. of Museum Research & Collections

The Alabama Museum of Natural History Collections are managed by the Department of Museum Research & Collections. An increasing number the specimens and artifacts from our collections can be found in the online database Arctos due to ongoing digitization efforts. Try our new Collections Search Portal. We keep track of the publications using specimens of our collections. View our Collections Policy. Find below more information about individual collections.

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The Archaeological Collection holds over one million artifacts, associated writings, and photographic images documenting the history of human occupation in the southeastern United States and beyond.

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The Entomology Collection contains approximately 500K specimens, including two historical pinned collections of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera and a large collection of aquatic insects.

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Ethnology & History

The ethnology and history collections consist of over 15,000 items, including bottles, stoneware jugs, hand tools, and telegraph insulators. It also contains objects related to the Gorgas House.

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The Geology Collection consists of thousands of mineral and rock specimens. The geology specimens are mostly used for educational and outreach purposes, but they are also used for research.

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Human Osteology

We have an extensive collection of human skeletal remains from prehistoric Alabama, including those recovered in archaeological excavations at the famous Moundville site.

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Invertebrate Zoology

The Invertebrate Zoology Collection contains 20,081 catalogued lots of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial invertebrates and an estimated 10,000 additional lots of uncatalogued specimens.

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The Paleontology Collection is made up of hundreds of thousands of vertebrate, invertebrate, plant, and trace fossils, mostly originating from Alabama. The majority of the fossils are invertebrates.

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Vertebrate Zoology

The UA Museums’ Vertebrate Zoology Collection consists predominantly of Alabama mammal and bird specimens, as well as a comparative skeletal collection.

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Archival Collections

Archival objects include ephemera such as historical records, correspondence, photos, microscope slides, catalogues, field notes, video/audio recordings, manuscripts, scrapbooks and journals.

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Ancillary Collection

The Ancillary Collection supports or enhances the display and storage of the University of Alabama Museums’ collections, but does not meet the historical, scientific, or pedagogical criteria to be fully accessioned.

Collections Managed by Biological Sciences

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The UA Herbarium houses about 64,000 specimens of vascular plants, about 6,000 specimens of mosses, and a few liverworts, lichens, algae, and fungi. Learn more about the herbarium at herbarium.as.ua.edu.

outline of Alabama with drawings of fishes superimposed on it


The University of Alabama Ichthyological Collection is one of the largest educational and research collections of fishes in the southeastern United States.

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Reptile & Amphibian Collection

The Reptile and Amphibian Collection is comprised of specimens largely collected prior to 1990 from around the state of Alabama.