Museum History

  • Museum was established in 1844 by Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., 1st President of Notre Dame.
  • Most specimens were lost in a fire that destroyed Main Building in April, 1879.
  • Museum Curator, Rev. John Zahm, C.S.C., was responsible for rebuilding the collections.
  • Many of the large skeletons currently on display were received by the University in March, 1897.
  • Notre Dame Herbarium was founded by Rev. Julius Nieuwland, C.S.C., in 1904.
  • Edward Lee Greene Herbarium was transferred to Notre Dame in 1914.
  • From 1884 until 1952 the Museum occupied part of the 1st floor and the entire 2nd floor of the Science Building (now LaFortune Hall).
  • Biological collections were moved to the "new" biology building (what is now called Haggar Hall) in 1952.
  • Biological collections were moved to the newly constructed Galvin Life Science Center in 1971.
  • Biological collections were reassembled in Jordan Hall of Science forming the Museum of Biodiversity in 2006.
  • Fossil collections were transferred from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences to the Museum in 2012.

14The Class of Comparative Osteology

8Father John Zahm, C.S.C. and Theodore Roosevelt on Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition to the Brazilian Amazon basin (1913-1914)