Collections at the EcoTarium | EcoTarium

Collections at the EcoTarium

The EcoTarium (originally called the Worcester Lyceum of Natural History) was founded in 1825 as a collection of natural history specimens. In the 19th century, collecting specimens from the natural world was a popular pastime and the study of the nature in all its forms was considered essential to a good education.

New! View thousands of specimens from our natural history collection in our online Collections Database.

Today, the EcoTarium rotates portions of its large natural history collection in displays throughout the Museum’s exhibit halls. Current displays include:

Although a large portion of the collection can be seen on display, the EcoTarium also has many materials in storage. These pieces are periodically used in exhibits and programs. Today our collection can be broken down into the following categories:

  • New England Archaeology
  • Archives (including historic books, magic lantern slides, historic naturalist manuscripts)
  • Botany (the study of plants)
  • Entomology (the study of insects)
  • Ethnology (the study of other cultures)
  • Herpetology (the study of amphibians, like frogs and lizards)
  • Malacology (the study of mollusks, like snails and clams)
  • Mammalogy (the study of mammals, like lions and squirrels)
  • Mineralogy
  • Oology (the study of birds’ eggs and nests)
  • Ornithology (the study of birds)
  • Paleontology (the study of fossils)
  • Historic Technology

Research requests, loans to museums, and other collections inquiries can be directed to the Collections Management Specialist Martin Christiansen,

New England has a host of museums with great Natural History Collections. Download here to learn more about the natural history collections at other great Museums in our region.