Gray Wolf Skull

Gray Wolf Skull

The Museum’s collections are representative of the natural history and biological diversity of the upper Midwest, in particular the western and upper Great Lakes region. In-house collections consist of over 3,500 specimens including: taxidermic mounts of mammals and birds, insect and bird nests, fish, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, rocks and minerals, skulls and pelts, vascular plants, mosses and liverworts, lichens, and more.

With thousands of plant, animal, and geologic specimens, most of the collection cannot be displayed at one time. Fortunately, our virtual database lets you see them all, even from home!

Search through our collections or scroll down for itemized collection categories. Start exploring all collections here.


Our current collection consists of items acquired from family collections, personal contributions, and found items. If you would like to make a donation to our collections please contact the Museum before transporting any specimens in order to comply with current wildlife laws.


CuriositiesLogoThe Museum’s collections are managed by our Curator Naturalist. Learn more about behind-the-scenes work of a Museum Curator by following weekly “Cabinet of Curiosities” blog posts here.


Explore each collection here:




Rocks and Minerals

Pressed Plants

Plains Pocketbook




Why are collections important?

Over 3,500 specimens representing local species of northern Wisconsin provide opportunity for teaching, education, and research. The collections are vital in our understanding of biodiversity, evolution, ecology, population genetics, and the environmental impacts of climate change and pesticide use. Historical collections provide baseline data against which modern observations can be compared. Each specimen serves as a snapshot in a particular place and time in which specific conditions cannot be replicated. The collections also serve as important education tools by bringing the hard-to-see elements of the natural world indoors for interpretation and discovery.


Long-tailed Weasel




Petoskey Stone


Collections Access:

Our collections are available for research upon request. A Collections Access Request form must be filled out and approved. Please contact Curator Naturalist, Mollie Kreb, with any questions. or (715) 798-3890.