The Collections

The Pember Museum collections are a wonderful example of the bio-diversity of the area 100 years ago, and also include specimens from around the world.

There are over 7,000 objects in the collections of the Pember Museum, covering a wide variety of natural history subjects. Nearly 80% of the collections are on display. Specimens include vertebrate (birds, mammals and reptiles) and invertebrate animals (insects, arachnids and sea life), rocks and minerals, fossils, some anthropological and historical materials, and a herbarium (dried plant specimens).

Click here to view the collections

Mr. Pember, a member of the prestigious American Fern Society and an avid botanist, collected over 1000 specimens of plants found both locally and from around the continental United States. Iridescent butterflies from around the world in every shape, color and size make up the largest portion of the insect collection. Insects that mimic leaves and sticks and the large Rhinoceros and Hercules Beetles are among the many insects on display.

Mr. Pember collected sets of bird eggs and nests from around the United States to add to his collection from other individuals ranging from 1874-1920. While egg collecting is no longer fashionable or legal these eggs are an important historical resource for those studying bird biology.

Mr. Pember also collected sea shells and other examples of marine life. The majority of the collections are on exhibit in their original cases, while duplicate specimens are in storage.

Besides our permanent collection, the Pember has an excellent educational collection which is used for onsite and offsite programs. Some of our objects are available for loan to educators and other museums.

We are currently researching provenance and other information for a number of Artifacts found in storage. Some were collected by Mr. Pember and others were donated over the years. These will be added to the online database.

Online Database

The Museum’s online database features more than 6,000 accessioned collection items. Each listing contains a description, photo of the item and more. Research collections of the Pember Museum are available to the public for the following collection units:

  • Amphibians (1 record)
  • Birds (1,374 records)
  • Botany (1,529 records)
  • Eggs (885 records)
  • Geology (392 records)
  • Insects (1,622 records)
  • Invertebrates (273 records)
  • Mammals (158 records)
  • Reptiles (32 records)

Easy to follow directions can be found on the site itself. We constantly add new data and correct information in the records. If you see an error in the data please contact us. For questions regarding the collection, or online database, contact the Pember at 518-642-1515 or email at

Click here to view the database.