The Specimen Museum serves to bridge the gap between how biological specimens are preserved for scientific collections and how they are typically presented for public consumption, in a way that makes natural history accessible to everyone.


Our Mission

The Specimen Museum serves two major purposes through a series of programs: to educate the public, especially children, about the way specimens are preserved, and to restore specimen collections for other educational institutions so that those specimens may remain safely in their collections for future generations to learn from and enjoy.

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Our Impact

There is currently a disconnect for most visitors to traditional natural history museums: typical museum patrons only see around 1% of what is in each museum’s holdings. Additionally, the existing natural history museums in Chicago are both financially and geographically inaccessible for many Chicago families.

Through our Mobile Museum program, we can reach hundreds of K-12 students per week with hands-on, interactive natural history programming brought right into their classrooms.

Through our Specimen Restoration program, the Specimen Museum offers specimen restoration and repair in order to save existing collections so that they may be enjoyed and used to teach many generations to come.




working with children and adults of all abilities in educational settings, from science camps for special needs adults to scout groups and everything in-between!




for students to look at, touch, and ask questions about! Everyone should get to learn about how and why taxidermy and specimens are created.




through school visits and specimen workshops, ranging in age from 4 to 100. We aren’t kidding about the 100-year-old, either! She’s an avid supporter of education and preserving natural history artifacts.


Our Programs

The Specimen Museum serves to bridge the gap between how specimens are preserved for scientific collections and how they are displayed for public consumption.


The Specimen Museum mobile museum is a moving collection of natural history artifacts. Having a mobile museum means that schools can get hands-on time and an educational experience with real specimens, right in their own classroom! This makes a fun alternative to a field trip for any school group, whether it’s a class, club, homeschool group, or even a scout leader. Educators and parents, inquire within!


The Specimen Museum believes that each individual scientific specimen has inherent educational value, and we offer taxidermy and specimen restoration and repair services. We hate to see institutions throwing their specimens away due to lack of understanding on how to care for them! Whether you’d like assistance repairing a specimen or you’d like to donate items to become part of our collection, we’ve got you covered.


Get Involved

Whether you would like to take advantage of our programming, join our team as a volunteer, or make a donation, we welcome you!

Sign Up For a Program

Tell us about your school or community organization so we can put together the perfect program that suits your exact needs!

Volunteer opportunities

Whether you want to lend a hand during a Mobile Museum visit or assist with specimen restoration, your talents are needed at the Specimen Museum!

Make a Donation

We are always accepting donations of specimens, in addition to supplies for our Mobile Museum programming. No matter what you contribute, we appreciate you.