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Our Mission

The Specimen Museum is an approved Illinois nonprofit with federal 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. Donations are tax-deductible. This project was formally established in 2018, stemming from a desire to bridge the gap between what actually happens in natural history museums versus what the general public gets to see when they visit.

Did you know that visitors to the average museum only see around 1% of what the museum has in its collections? Did you know that most biological specimens on display lack contextual information like how, why, and when they were preserved?

The Specimen Museum wants to supplement Chicago’s existing natural history museums through our Mobile Museum and Specimen Restoration programs, so that everyone has an opportunity to learn all about these marvelous and unique natural wonders.


Specimens should be for everyone.

All living things die, but each of those lives lost can be turned into something we can learn from.

Every single biological specimen contains unique information that becomes part of the scientific record. Taxidermy may be a dying art, but its methods should still be accessible to anyone who wants to learn how to preserve specimens for scientific research.

No matter whether you’re into flowers or bird-watching, there is an element to specimen preservation that will spark your interest and open your eyes to the world of scientific archives.