Over the past 150 years, the Prairie Research Institute has gathered some of the premier archaeological, biological, and geological research collections in North America. These collections include rare and irreplaceable human artifacts, fossils, subsurface geological samples, and biological specimens (including amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, insects, mammals, annelids, crustaceans, and mollusks).
- With more than 9 million specimens, the natural history collections represent the most complete documentation of Illinois' flora and fauna. Included are more than 29,000 “type specimens,” which serve as the exemplars to identify species.
- Geological cores and samples support research on mineral and fossil fuel resources, groundwater resources, and hazard mitigation.
- Archaeological specimens have been collected from more than 3,000 sites in Illinois, including from the UNESCO World Heritage Cahokia site and the Hopewell Culture sites in the Illinois River Valley.
Your gift will help to preserve, curate, learn from, and share these valuable collections.
- additional computer servers to speed digitization of collection materials
- staffing and materials to curate and conserve the Milton Sanderson Dominican Amber collection before it further degrades
- additional space equipped for appropriate environmental control and safety so collection materials can be preserved appropriately and accessed for research and education
(If you would like to direct your gift to a specific collection, please add the name or description of the collection to the Additional Instructions box on the next page.)