UWYMV Collections

The UWYMV houses approximately 11,800 specimens in four separate collections: mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, and fish. In addition, the museum is home to a growing collection of tissues and anatomical parts (e.g. stomach contents, syrinxes).

Most of the historical specimens come from the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. Additional significant historical collections come from the eastern and southern areas of the United States. State of the art facilities in the museum’s new home in the Berry Center have provided the UWYMV with large amounts of additional collections space, and the museum is currently undergoing rapid expansion in all areas.

The most common specimen types are skins and pelts, skeletons, and fluid preserved whole organisms. The bird collection also contains a small collection of eggs and nests, and a growing collection of spread wings. 

The UWYMV is actively seeking salvage from both Wyoming and Colorado to add to both our modern research and teaching collections. Information on donating specimens to the UWYMV can be found on our donation page.


Access to the Collections

Download the Official UW Museum of Vertebrates Collection Use Policy Here.

Access to the UWYMV collections is by appointment only, and there are no public hours for the museum. General policies that apply to every request are as follows:

1. All requests made to the staff of the UWYMV must be made at least two weeks in advance of when the information, material or access is needed. Requests made inside the two week window are unlikely to be granted.

2. All requests from undergraduate and graduate students must be co-signed by a faculty advisor who will be responsible for the loan. Requests from students without a faculty co-signer will not be granted.

3. All requests should be sent to both Matt Carling and Beth Wommack

 Requesting Access

Any researcher interested in gaining access to the collections to gather data from our specimens in person, as opposed to requesting a specimen loan that will be shipped, must provide a written request to Matt and Beth that includes the following:

1. The objectives of the proposed research.

2. The timeline of the visit.


Researchers interested in requesting a specimen loan should consult our loan policies page for further information.

The UWYMV will entertain requests to visit the collection for purposes other than conducting scientific research. For more information please see our page on education and outreach

Herpetological specimens: rattlesnakes

The UWYMV is part of the Arctos community. To query our online collection database you can use the link below to go the Arctos search page for the all of the UWYMV collections, or search each collection separately by following the links above.

UWYMV Collections