Curation and Collections Services

Curation and Collections Services

The UI Museum of Natural History

The UI Museum of Natural History holds more than 140,000 objects and specimens from anthropology to zoology.  We are an active repository for zoological specimens, especially those from the state of Iowa or used in scientific research by UI biologists.  Our collections are used for research, education, and exhibits, at the UI and elsewhere.  Contact us if you are interested in more information on our holdings and collection policies.

We are frequently asked about whether we're interested in accepting specimens, objects, or collections as a donation.  There is no single answer to that, as it depends very much on exactly what kind of object or collection you have.  In general, we may be interested in receiving donations if they are appropriate additions to our research and/or education collections, and if the donor can provide sufficient evidence that they were collected and held legally. 

We are always happy to discuss donation options and the donation process, and may be able to suggest more appropriate destinations, resources, or next steps even for collections we can't accept ourselves.  While we cannot do commercial appraisals, we may also be able to provide advice about the scientific or scholarly value of your collections.  Please contact us if you are interested in discussing a potential donation. 

Additional details about the museum and its collections, and contact information for our staff, can be found on our website at

The Office of the State Archaeologist

The Office of the State Archaeologist at the University of Iowa (OSA) serves the people of Iowa as the statutorily mandated repository for the State's archaeological collections. This collection is comprised of artifactual materials from Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, Late Prehistoric, and Historic Cultures, as well as related photographs, written records, and other research material. Over four million objects from more than 11,000 of Iowa's nearly 27,000 recorded sites are curated at the OSA. In addition to the archaeological collection, the OSA maintains comparative and teaching collections including prehistoric and historic artifact types; lithic resources; fresh water bivalves; botanical specimens; and faunal collections of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. For a fee, the OSA can:

  • Curate artifact and document collections;
  • Prepare and/or loan collections for exhibits or research; and 
  • Process flotation samples for botanical analysis.

For more information, contact Collections Manager John Cordell at 319-384-0741 or Archivist Teresa Rucker at 319-384-0734


Old Capitol Museum

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