About the Museum


Welcome to University College Cork natural collections, housed within the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES). The specimens digitised here form part of a vast zoological and geological collection, over 5,000 in total, used as teaching aids and displays to foster a love of learning and an appreciation for our extraordinary natural world.

Our History

Since 1954, the University has consistently aimed at improving the use of this invaluable resource. The specimens have a long standing tradition as part of University College Cork culture night, in addition to their use alongside Fota Wildlife Park, Cork Science Week and many more.

There are wonderful stories associated with the collection, including discovery of the priceless Darwin specimens, a collection of extraordinary Blaschka models and the donation of two gecko eggs from Dublin Airport to UCC in 2001. Upon hatching one of these geckos survived and lived with a previous curator!

Some of these zoological specimens stem from as far back as the 1800s, therefore we do not always have information on their provenance. However, we acknowledge that specimens may have complex histories, stemming from contentious social, political and environmental eras. We also acknowledge the importance of how University collections honour the legacy of the specimens they house, and how we approach sharing the material we find.

This website is designed to share these extraordinary specimens. In this fragile world we hope that seeing their beauty and vulnerability, but also understanding their resilience, will inspire us to commit to their preservation and to protect the world around us.

Image Credit: Ashley Bennison

UCC Natural Collections