The NSF-CSBR Joint Museums Project


Currently, the University of Michigan’s biological collections are divided among three different museums (the Museum of Zoology, the Museum of Paleontology, and the University Herbarium), with a multitude of different databases that hold information about the specimens. This project is the beginning of an effort to bring these collections together into one unified database that will also include collections at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology.

To help achieve this, we have targeted three historical collections that span multiple museums at the university. The first includes some of the earliest biological specimens collected in Michigan as part of the First and Second Geological Surveys of Michigan from 1837-1845 and 1859-1862. The second targets the collections made by Joseph Beal Steere in the 1870s in South America and Asia. Lastly, we will focus on the multidisciplinary collections made by Walter Koelz in South Asia from 1930-1953.

This site includes information about the collections, background information about the project, and updates on the project’s progress. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Collections in Support of Biological Research initiative. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1349276. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Questions or comments about the project or site: please contact project coordinator Mackenzie Caple (