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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.

Moundville logo engraving
Archaeology
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.
old leather bag
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.
human skull
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.
woodpecker on a tree
Vertebrate Zoology
The UA Museums’ Vertebrate Zoology Collection consists predominantly of Alabama mammal and bird specimens, as well as a comparative skeletal collection.
stack of leather books
Archival Collections
Archival objects include ephemera such as historical records, correspondence, photos, microscope slides, catalogues, field notes, video/audio recordings, manuscripts, scrapbooks and journals.
wasp
Entomology
The Entomology Collection contains approximately 500K specimens, including two historical pinned collections of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera and a large collection of aquatic insects.
person holding a rock
Geology
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.
fossilized crab
Paleontology
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.
starfish on an anemone
Invertebrate Zoology
This collection contains 20,081 catalogued lots of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial invertebrates and an estimated 10,000 additional lots of uncatalogued specimens.
fossilized amber
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

plant samples
Herbarium
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.
frog
Reptile & Amphibian Collection
The Reptile and Amphibian Collection is comprised of specimens largely collected prior to 1990 from around the state of Alabama.
fish near a corral reef
Ichthyology
The University of Alabama Ichthyological Collection is one of the largest educational and research collections of fishes in the southeastern United States.