Tiffany Lamb, director of the Natural History Museum, works with thousands of animals, insects and plants. The Natural History Museum on the Amarillo College Washington Street Campus houses more than 30,000 specimens, including one of the largest insect collections in Texas. The museum is free for anyone to visit, and guided tours are available. “We are there so anyone can come by and check out animals and plants from around the world,” Lamb said. The museum is there not only for people to examine the collection, but it can be used for research. Scientists and students have used the collection for study. “We’ve had museum representatives from across the United States come view and study our specimens,” Lamb said. There are plans to add more to the collection in the future, but according to Lamb, “We rely on the generosity of the public and members of the biology department” to help it grow. “When we collect, all the specimens are donated to the museum,” Lamb said. “We also have individuals from the public donate to us. Many of the public donors are game hunters who do not have room to display in their trophy cases at home, so they donate them in order for everyone to be able to learn about the animals.” The museum accepts donations of legally obtained specimens that are in good condition for display. People interested in contributing to the museum can donate through the AC Foundation. The pieces at the museum vary in value, and some are even priceless because the species are endangered. Some of the rarer species are worth thousands of dollars, while others, such as local plants and insects, are collected for free. Cristian Murga, a vocational nursing major, said he has heard of the museum but has never been inside. Because of a lack of an advertising budget, the facility is not well known by most students.
“We do not have an advertising budget, so we rely on word of mouth to let people know about us,” Lamb said. Murga said he thinks that if people talk about it, the museum will gain more visitors. The museum is open to the public from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, from 1:45 p..m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays.