Collections: Natural Science Collection

Collections: Natural Science Collection

The Natural Science Collection encompass over a half-million diverse specimens.

The collection covers the disciplines of zoology, botany, entomology, geology, palaeontology and archaeology. Notable biological collections include the William T. Davis Collection of cicadas, with over 35,000 specimens, including many types originally described by Davis, and the herbarium, containing a complete record of the flora of Staten Island from the 1860s to the present.

Other significant collections include Cretaceous plant fossils, containing type specimens described by Arthur Hollick, and the Burgher archaeology collection, which contains thousands of American Indian artifacts, documenting Indian life on Staten Island from 10,000 BC to the time of European contact. Mounted birds and mammals, bird eggs and nests, shells, and minerals are also well-represented in the collection. Please note that these databases do not represent the entire collection. Please contact our Director of Science, by email or phone at 718.727.1135, if you have any questions or if you would like to research the collections.

  • Entomology

    The largest Museum collection, with over 500,000 specimens, the insect collection contains 16 orders of insects, half of which are beetles and most from Staten Island.

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  • Botany

    The herbarium collection contains over 25,000 pressed and mounted specimens and is a complete record of the flora of Staten Island from the 1860s to the present.

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  • Ichthyology

    This collection contains over 100 fish specimens, preserved in alcohol. It is composed primarily of Staten Island freshwater fish. The collection also contains marine species from the surrounding waters.

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  • Herpetology

    Over 1,000 specimens of frogs, toad, salamanders, turtles, snakes, lizards and crocodilians preserved in alcohol make up the Museum’s Herpetology collection.

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  • Ornithology

    Over 3,000 taxidermy birds, study skins, skeletons, eggs and nests are included in this collection, mostly from Staten Island and the northeastern U.S.

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  • Mammalogy

    A collection of mammals containing over 200 taxidermy specimens, study skins, skeletons, skulls and specimens preserved in alcohol.

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  • Conchology

    The shell collection contains over 10,000 specimens from world-wide localities.

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  • Geology

    The geology collections contain over 7,000 specimens of rocks, minerals, and fossils from world-wide localities.

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  • Archaeology

    This collection contains over 10,000 specimens, mostly collection on Staten Island ranching from the Paleo-Indian Period through European Contact (ca. 1650).

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  • Paleontology

    A comprehensive collection of over 1,000 fossil specimens.

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