For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Create Your Own Collection

compartments in a collection box filled with natural history specimens

April 10, 2012

Since the Academy’s founding in 1812, scientists have collected specimens of plants, animals, and minerals from the United States and around the world. Today, these collections hold more than 18 million specimens, which represent a library of life on Earth. The information gathered from these specimens helps scientists learn where and when different species lived, what their environments were like, how different species interacted, and more.

In celebration of our Bicentennial, the Academy has created special Collection Boxes so you can start your own library of life! Each month during our bicentennial, we’ll highlight a different collection. Pick up your collection box at the Academy in the gift shop ($2.25 or free for members with voucher) today. Then stop by each month to pick up a free specimen relating to that month’s featured collection and learn more about it! Grow your collection at home by finding related specimens to add to your box.

As you fill your collection box, we’ll be adding specimens from all over the world to the Academy’s collections. We hope you’ll join us as we begin our next 200 years of discovery!