Each of the collections has its own history and policies. All are involved in databasing projects to make collections data widely available via the Internet. Links are provided below to access specific collection webpages. Directions to the Museum.
Initiated by George W. Wharton in 1951, the Acarology collection is considered one of the best and most extensive tick and mite collections in North America. Over 150,000 determined and considerably more than one million undetermined specimens are included, preserved either in alcohol or on microscope slides. The geographic range is worldwide. The collections get extensive use during the annual Acarology Summer Program, currently the foremost training workshop in systematic acarology in the world.
Borror Lab of Bioaccoustics
The Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics is one of the leading collections of animal sounds in the United States. The Laboratory is named for Dr. Donald J. Borror, an entomologist and ornithologist who was a pioneer in the field of bioacoustics and contributed many recordings. Today the sound collection contains almost 38,000 recordings of 1130 species of birds and more than 2,000 recordings of 288 species of arthropods. Recordings of mammal (103), amphibian (77), reptile (11), and fish (3) species are also part of the collection. The recordings are widely used for research but also for museum displays and commercial applications such as bird identification apps for mobile devices and in movies. The entire collection can be searched through ORNIS.
C. A. Triplehorn Insect Collection
The Triplehorn Insect Collection is ranked among the top 12 university collections in North America. It comprises over 3.5 million catalogued specimens, including one of the world's largest leaf-hopper collections. Initiated by Professor Josef N. Knull in 1934, the collection has strong holdings in the Coleoptera, Homoptera, Hymenoptera, Odonata, and Orthoptera. The collection was a recent recipient of a National Science Foundation facilities grant. Ongoing research is focused on the systematics of beetles and parasitic wasps, and the development of the biodiversity surveys of tropical forest insects.
The collections of Dr. Albert Tuttle, OSU's first zoologist, were the beginning of the OSUM Fish Division circa 1874. Officially recognized in 1895, the fish collections grew and moved successively from the attic of the Botany and Zoology Building, OSU's Biological Station at Cedar Point, Ohio State Historical Society, Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island, the basement of Sullivant Hall, to the current location. The fish collections are primarily used as a resource for systematics research and publication, laboratory teaching at the university level and for public education. In addition, they are also used as a basis for comparative studies, geographic range information, ecological assessments and environmental impact statements. Voucher specimens are deposited with the collection by a number of researchers and agencies to anchor reports and publications.
The Herbarium began as a series of collections made soon after the founding of the university, but we date the official founding as 1891 by William A. Kellerman, the University's first botany professor, and it currently comprises approximately 500,000 specimens of vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, algae and diatoms, fleshy fungi, and slime molds. The emphases are on flora of eastern North America (especially Ohio) and of temperate South America, but many of the collections have good general geographical coverage. The Herbarium library is a significant collection of books and serials, including archival materials and rare items pertaining to systematic botany. It also houses the Rudolph book collection.
The Division of Molluscs is divided into two major collections, housed in separate ranges. The bivalve collection consists of ~78,000 catalogued lots, mainly composed of North American freshwater mussels. The gastropod collection (and a small amount of material of other molluscan orders) consists of ~20,000 catalogued lots, primarily North American freshwater snails. The collections are among the largest in the world for freshwater Mollusca. Computers in each range link to central bivalve and gastropod databases.
The Division of Tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) is an important repository of Ohio and North American species and of some research expeditions worldwide. The collections were established shortly after the founding of The Ohio State University in 1870 and grew through collection efforts of OSU faculty. Today the collections house more than 170 amphibian, 200 reptile, almost 2000 bird and 250 mammal species. The specimens are used for research and teaching as well as for the occasional arts project.