No tour of the NUI Galway campus is complete without a trip to the Zoology and Marine Biology Museum located on the ground floor of the Ryan Institute.
The refurbished museum was officially reopened in 2009, however the origins of the extensive collection of animal and plant specimens can be traced back to the founding of the University (or Queens College Galway as it was first known) over 160 years ago.
The undoubted highlight of the collection includes the four specimens once owned by the famous naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882), which he acquired during his 5-year voyage on the ship HMS Beagle from 1831-1836. The Darwin specimens were acquired by the University from the Zoological Society of London in 1855.
The collection also includes more than 100 glass representations of marine mammals, known as Blaschka models, made by German father-and-son team Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka in Dresden. They are now considered to be works of art, as well as models, with an “irreplaceable” value.
Please visit the NUI Galway Zoology website for more information about the collection and the history of the Zoology and Marine Biology Museum.