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The Cole Museum of Zoology: a brief history as it faces a new beginning

Callaghan, A. (2018) The Cole Museum of Zoology: a brief history as it faces a new beginning. Journal of Natural Science Collections, 5. pp. 135-143. ISSN 2053-1133

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Abstract/Summary

The Cole Museum of Zoology (REDCZ) at the University of Reading was founded in the early 20th century by Professor Francis Joseph Cole. Comparative animal anatomy is the principal scientific focus of the collection, represented by taxidermy, skeletons, histological preparations, fluid-preserved dissections, fossil material, casts, and some superb models of developmental stages. Overall, the collection contains over 3,200 fluid-preserved and dry specimens in addition to many hundreds of specimens in satellite collections used for teaching (approximately 38,000 specimens in total). More than 50% of the specimens are vertebrates, which reflects both Professor Cole’s research interests and the need to illustrate a curriculum that was heavily focused on vertebrates. Cole was an important figure in early 20th century zoology and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. He was the driving force behind zoology at the University of Reading, and it is a testament to his vision that we still teach BSc Zoology using his collection. The museum is currently housed in its third home, but after just under 50 years in one spot, 2019 will see it moved to a new Health and Life Sciences building as an integral part of the entrance foyer. It is hoped that 2019 will herald a new era for the museum, beginning on the journey towards a 200 year history at the University.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:75935
Publisher:Natural Sciences Collections Association

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