University of Kansas Natural History Museum

1345 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045


About Us:

At the KU Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, we study the life of the planet for the benefit of the earth and its inhabitants.

We document the fantastic diversity of life on earth. We uncover its intricate patterns. We tell the grand stories that emerge from this research. And we educate graduate students - the next generation of biodiversity scientists.
The museum maintains research inventories of seven million plant and animal specimens representing life on earth, past and present. The inventories and their associated information are used for undergraduate, graduate, and public education; research; and public and professional service.


For both teaching and research uses, natural history inventories were started at KU before it opened in 1866. Within 20 years, they held 150,000 specimens of plants, mammals, birds, fishes, fossils, reptiles, and amphibians. Exhibits and education activities grew based on these research inventories. After World War II, collecting expanded beyond the Great Plains into the rest of the New World and beyond.

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