Humans are natural collectors. Throughout time we have collected things to try to make sense of the world around us. Animals that intrigue us, items we don’t understand, objects that we perceive to be beautiful, quirky, dangerous, and different. The UNE Natural History Museum is a library of life; a place of activity, interaction and discovery. It serves as a reminder that there is no surrogate for real things. The most sophisticated computer graphics cannot replace the sense of wonder that comes with viewing the still remains of real animals, in all their extraordinary variety.
The University of New England and the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) have partnered to offer an exciting 2-day masterclass on October 9th-10th 2020 for attendees to engage and learn from entomologists, ecologists, artists and museum staff about insect ecology and conservation, identification, pinning and curating; as well as the artistic techniques of natural history illustration. This workshop is for anyone interested in how insects shape our planet, our lives and our narratives.
Our Museum houses important research specimens that have been collected during specific projects in New England, throughout Australia, and some overseas and have been used for decades as teaching resources, learn more here.
There are many ways to get behind the scenes and learn more. As part of your studies you can complete work integrated learning units or through volunteering you can help unlock the untapped potential of our collections, find out more here.
Our collection features a diverse range of specimens collected from around the world. Each month we look at one the Museum’s specimens in more detail. Check out this month’s featured specimen and browse the archive here.
Our collection comes from far and wide. While predominantly from Oceania and the Americas, some specimens come originate from Madagascar, Antarctica and Greenland. Botanical, zoological and geological treasures have been meticulously curated over the past 30 years by academics and enthusiasts, gathering and trading specimens between universities and museums all over the world.
To see the vast array of specimens in storage at the UNE Natural History Museum is a wonder. Our collections are a crucial resource for teaching and research. To be a student at UNE means you have access to specimens across the biological world: vertebrate and invertebrate, specimens stored wet for sampling and testing, skulls and skeletons for measuring and comparison based research, skins and hides taxidermied for study of physiology and function, click here to read more.
Housed within the new Agriculture Education Building, the UNE Natural History Museum is a hub for many exciting crossdisciplinary collaborations combining research, teaching and community outreach and engagement. The facilities include high quality, multipurpose teaching laboratories, as well as sound-proofed and temperature controlled work rooms for researchers and students. Our scientists are using the Museum in exciting ways, click here to read more about their research.
Taxidermy has had a revival of sorts in recent years. For natural history enthusiasts and trophy hunters, the interest in preserved specimens has never waned. Techniques improved through the 19th century due to a fascination in exotic species collected from all corners of the globe, and continued to do so in the 20th century when major museums attracted large audiences to diorama style exhibits. While the exhibits of the Natural History Museum in New York and London show world class examples of this trade, our own University has not been without its skilled preparators. Click here to read more.
The UNE Natural History Museum is located in Building W077, the Agricultural Education Building on the University of New England’s main campus in Armidale, NSW. It can be accessed from Trevanna Rd, adjacent to Pharmacy in McClymont Building. Click here for more about our location and directions to the Museum.