Research & Collections

The Milwaukee Public Museum has more than 4.5 million objects and specimens in the departments of Anthropology, History, Botany, Invertebrate Zoology, Vertebrate Zoology and Geology. These collections form the basis for all of our research, exhibits and educational programs. They are owned by Milwaukee County and are held in trust for the current and future generations.

Anthropology - Learn about our vast ethnographic collections and archaeological materials from around the world.

History - Explore our historical collections, ranging in subject from modern cultures of Asia to Classical / Medieval Europe.

Botany - Discover the wonders of the botany collections, which include more than 250,000 specimens, over half of which come from Wisconsin.

Invertebrate Zoology - Find out about our 800,000 specimens of invertebrates, including impressive collections of butterflies, moths, beetles, mollusks and crustaceans.

Vertebrate Zoology - Get information on the fish, amphibians and reptiles, birds and mammals in this enormous collection of nearly 745,000 specimens.

Geology - Read about the work of MPM's Geology department in studying sedimentary rocks and environments, ancient marine communities, and the extinction of dinosaurs.

Collection Support - Learn about the processes of conserving and cataloguing objects in our collection so that they can be accessed, exhibited and studied safely.