Museum of the Chenango Valley and George R. Cooley Herbarium

Colgate’s natural history museum is home to a vast collection of specimens that have been used extensively in teaching since 1868.


Professor Tim McCay shows visitors specimens from a drawer in the Natural History Museum of the Chenango Valley.


Altogether, the natural history museum houses 34,000 specimens, including:

  • skulls
  • mammal skins
  • eggs
  • seeds
  • mosses
  • lichens
  • lizards
  • pressed plants
  • stuffed birds
  • and more

Cooley Herbarium

The herbarium’s holdings are split into three collections:

  • General: containing approximately 170 plant families, 6,000 species, and 20,000 specimens
  • Caribbean: containing approximately 80 families, 900 species, and 2,500 specimens
  • Madison County (N.Y.): containing approximately 100 families, 1,300 species, and 4,000 specimens

Visit the Museum

The collections of both the Natural History Museum of the Chenango Valley and the George R. Cooley Herbarium are located in room T5 of Olin Hall.

Find Olin Hall on the campus map

Origins of the Museum

The collection was started in 1868 with the first specimens arriving in the luggage of Albert Bickmore, professor of zoology and geology. Bickmore, who would later found the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, brought with him to Colgate a large collection of stuffed birds, which he had collected and preserved throughout several years in the East Indies and Asia.

Since that time, Colgate’s collections have expanded dramatically and can be viewed by faculty, students, and visitors in Olin Hall.

Contact Us

Gretchen Hoadley Burke ’81 Endowed Chair in Regional Studies; Dunham Beldon Jr. Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
227 Ho Science Center
  • MW 12:30pm - 2:00pm (227 Ho Science Center)
Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
224 Ho Science Center
  • M 12:30pm - 1:30pm (336 Ho Science Center)
  • TR 10:00am - 11:30am (336 Ho Science Center)