The Georgia Natural History Museum is a hidden wonder on the University of Georgia’s campus. While driving on East Campus Road, you may have spotted the signature great white shark replica adorning the side of its home. But did you know what treasures of the natural world lie inside that small brick building?
Spread across campus and to a remote location on Atlanta Highway, the museum has collections upon collections of geologic samples, preserved plants, taxidermic animals, specimen jars and more.
Now a unit of the Franklin College of Arts & Sciences, the museum dates back to the early 1800s, when UGA was still in its infancy, and has come a long way since. However, due to a lack of campus space, many of their collections are housed away from campus or tucked in difficult-to-access curation spaces.
Led by director and curator Bud Freeman, the museum offers a hidden world of Georgia’s natural history that’s fascinating to explore.
“Natural history collections are important to the education of university students, and this began with UGA President Josiah Meigs and continues to this day,” Freeman said. “Museum collections today are also windows in time allowing us to ask questions about how things were and how they might be.”
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