MCZ South Wing, 1875
The Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University is a center for research and education focused on the comparative relationships of animal life.
The MCZ was founded in 1859 by an act, signed into law, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts primarily through the efforts of Louis Agassiz, a brilliant lecturer and scholar from Switzerland. The museum established and served as a training ground for professional zoologists and influenced many budding US museums through this new generation.
Research at the MCZ continues to follow Agassiz’s vision to illuminate the structures of living things, their natural classification and relationship with their surroundings, while remaining a leading institution for modern zoological research. The present-day MCZ collections are comprised of approximately 21-million extant and fossil invertebrate and vertebrate specimens, which continue to be a focus of research and teaching for MCZ, Harvard and outside students and researchers.