Haswell Museum of Zoology, University of Sydney

In 1890 , the Challis Bequest of 200,000 pounds was used to establish a Chair of Zoology at The University of Sydney. William Aitcheson Haswell, a demonstrator in zoology since 1882 was appointed, and so became the first Challis Professor of Zoology. He had been described by his Professor at the University of Edinburgh as "an excellent naturalist..... and a thoroughly reliable gentleman". When the original Zoology Building was completed on the present site in 1903 he was delighted to move his collection of teaching specimens from all round the world into a specially designated museum. This collection formed the nucleus of today's museum which has been continuously used and added to ever since. Some of the original specimens are now over 100 years old.


The Haswell Museum today is a valuable and historic collection of approximately 7,000 specimens. Most zoological phyla are represented, vertebrate and invertebrate animals, Australian and foreign species. The majority of specimens are stored in liquid preservatives, mainly 70% alcohol, but there is also some dry material and a small collection of fossils. Many specimens are sealed in display jars. Material is mainly used for undergraduate teaching but is always available for research.