What’s in the museum?

Established in 1968, the museum is home to more than 6,000 artifacts and specimens. The wonder of the fluorescent rock room, the 3,000-year-old mummy hand, the full mount American bison, Kodiak bear, African elephant skull and tusks, Rocky Mountain goat, and two-headed calf are just a few of the highlights.

The Discovery Room

Here we have lots of hands-on activities and workshops! The Discovery Room is full of artifacts from the collection that can be handled and observed (including animal and bird skins, bones and skulls, shark jaws, preserved invertebrates, fossils, and rocks and minerals).

We also have aquariums and herbariums with live animals for observation – including Chesapeake Bay inhabitants, saltwater fish, crabs, tree frogs, turtles and more.

Collection highlights

  • Virginia wildlife
  • Virginia birds, nests and eggs
  • East African birds
  • Mounted heads of North American and African game animals
  • Insects from Virginia and around the world
  • Rocks
    • igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic
  • Minerals
    • crystals and cut gems
  • Fossils
    • shark teeth, dinosaur bones, fish and petrified wood
  • Corals, seashells and marine life
  • Botanical specimens
    • cones, seeds and spices
  • Anthropologic artifacts
    • handcrafts from many countries

Special exhibits

Arctic region, Native Americans, Ancient Egypt