Reopens June 2013
The collection of the Natural Sciences Department showcases California as one of the world’s top ten biological “hotspots,” and as the state containing the greatest biological diversity in the nation. It numbers more than 100,000 research specimens and other artifacts, including over 10,000 identified and pinned entomology specimens, over 5,000 specimens in the malacology (shell) collection, more than 2,000 bird and mammal study skins and mounts, several thousand bird eggs, more than 3,180 herbarium sheets, over 2,330 freeze-dried exhibit specimens, as well as collections of reptiles and amphibians, fishes, terrestrial and marine invertebrates, and fungi.
The Department’s collections also contain the Helen Pritchard Snuff bottle collection of more than 700 Chinese and Japanese snuff bottles which date from the 1700s to the present day, the Chang Wen Ti jade pagoda, and mineral and geological specimens from throughout the state. The California Library of Natural Sounds contains nearly 3,000 audio recordings of more than 1,000 California species and natural environments. The photography collection contains more than 72,000 images of California's natural life and habitats, a major part of which is the Bob Walker Collection that documents natural areas around the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly the East Bay.