Field Visit: The Natural History Museum & Dead Zoo - 2015 Activity Series

Submitted by admin on Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:35
Dead Zoo
Start Date
End Date
Natural History Museum, Merrion Street, Dublin 2

he IBIOLI, as part of its Activity Series 2015, invites its members, friends and members of the public to this free admission guided tour of the Natural History Museum and Dead Zoo. During the 1.5 hours, the keeper of the museum, Nigel Monaghan, will take you on a tour of the two main floors of the building.

During the course of the tour Mr Monaghan will discuss:

  • the place of the Natural History Museum in the development of this area of the city, the neighbourhood of Georgian buildings and development of the current museum in 1856
  • the history of the Royal Dublin Society and the collections that make the Dead Zoo popular today with the 300,000 visitors a year
  • the nature of preservation of animals, including taxidermy, alcohol preservation, pinning of dry insects
  • the setting of the building beside the 1911 College of Science, home to what became UCD science departments up to the 1980s when it moved out to Belfield
  • the nature of acquisition of specimens to what is now a collection of approximately 2 million, 10,000 of which are on exhibition
  • individual highlight animals with back stories of bullet holes and tales of extinction.
Natural History Museum and Dead Zoo

The building was constructed in 1856 to house the RDS collections and was taken over in 1877 by the state. There have been over two centuries of scientific collecting, and holdings now stand at about 2 million specimens, of which 10,000 are on display.  

Parts of the building are not open to the public, but all areas can be seen on the new 3D online visit at: (you will need good broadband and an up to date browser to experience this)

An online map and other visitor information is available at:

Meet At:

Meet at 2pm on Saturday 16th May at the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History, Merrion Street, Dublin 2.