The biological collections at the University
of Central Oklahoma (located in Edmond, OK) contain over 44,000
specimens. These specimens are used for teaching, research
and outreach and are housed at Howell Hall. Click on the links
above to discover more about our collections.
Funding from a National Science Foundation
BRC (Biological Research Collections) grant was used to generate
this webpage as well as updating our facilities. Restricted
funding through the early years forced the collections to
be housed in odd spaces, in institutionally constructed wooden
cabinets, and in assorted, often substandard specimen boxes,
trays and vials. Additionally, the specimens have had limited
use outside UCO due to lack of knowledge of their existence
and lack of accessibility. These collections face a curation
crisis. The university now recognizes the educational, research
and outreach significance of these historic natural history
collections and has made available funds to convert shell
space into Herbarium, Invertebrate and Vertebrate collections
areas. This NSF grant supplements the efforts of the university
to protect and modernize one of Oklahoma’s oldest natural
history collections. Funds are being used to move the collections
into new storage units, replace internal containers (jars,
lids, vials, boxes, etc.), and build an accessible electronic
database (DataLink) as well as this website. These actions
preserve a significant and historic state, national and international
collection and make it accessible for research and education.
|This photograph (from 1913) shows some of the specimens that were created for a class on taxidermy. Some of these specimens are still present in UCO's Museum of Natural History today, nearly a century later.
for more information.