The Mammal Collection of the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) at the University of Illinois was established in 1876. The INHS Mammal Collection is housed in room 144 of the Natural Resources Studies Annex. In 2018 the Mammal Collection had 14,700 specimens, ranking as the 67th largest mammal collection in the world and 48th largest mammal collection in the USA based on the number of specimens. The specimens are used for scientific studies, primarily when loaned to scientists at other institutions, but are also used as comparative material to identify specimens brought to INHS and for teaching classes at the University of Illinois.
Our goal is to acquire a broad spatial and temporal representation of populations of mammals from Illinois, with a secondary emphasis on mammals from North America and elsewhere across the Earth. Specimens are acquired as the result of collecting trips, exchanges, salvaging, donations, purchases, and permanent loans. We attempt to archive multiple datasets and modes of preservation in an effort to stimulate the maximum number of scientific and educational studies that can be conducted on each voucher specimen. Typically, traditional methods of preservation (skin, skeleton) are used. We also archive well-documented voucher specimens prepared in the course of non-systematic investigations, especially those conducted by state and federal resource agencies.