The Museum of Comparative Zoology was founded in 1859 on the concept that collections are an integral and fundamental component of zoological research and teaching. This more than 150-year-old commitment remains a strong and proud tradition for the MCZ.
The present-day MCZ contains over 21-million specimens in nine research collections which comprise one of the world's richest and most varied resources for studying the diversity of life. The museum serves as the primary repository for zoological specimens collected by past and present Harvard faculty-curators, staff and associates conducting research around the world.
As a premier university museum and research institution, the specimens and their related data are available to researchers of the scientific and museum community. Use of the collections in student research, whether as thesis work or independent study, is also encouraged.