About the museum

The Cole Museum of Zoology is owned and managed by the University of Reading

It was established by Professor Francis Cole in 1906 when the University was known as University College Reading. The Cole Museum of Zoology represents a snapshot of animal diversity in the early 20th century and has always been used to teach zoology and comparative anatomy. The Museum is home to thousands of specimens of great zoological significance, including taxidermy, skeletons, histological preparations, fluid-preserved dissections, fossil material, casts, and some superb models of developmental stages and extinct animals.

Museum Update:

Cole Museum Highlights

Introducing some of our flagship specimens who you must meet when you come to visit us!

Virtual Museum

Bringing the Cole Museum to you... We are building a virtual Cole Museum to give you an advance look at what the new displays will be about when we open our brand new museum. Explore the diversity of animal life from home!   The Virtual Museum is a work in progress. Case 2: Lophotrochozoa This [...]


About Our Collections Francis Joseph Cole was appointed to ‘University College Reading’ in 1906 and was soon promoted to the position of Professor of Zoology. A passionate and creative collector of animal specimens he set to work on a museum collection using a variety of imaginative means. He encouraged donations from overseas visitors and even [...]

Ignore the sea urchin. The blob inside, one dissected on the right is actually a bivalve!! The mollusc has bored into the test and secreted calcareous rings that look like a Gastropoda. @ReadingBioSci https://t.co/eNv5fhvesN ColeZoology photo

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