Identify an animal or object

We can identify specimens and objects that relate to Museums Victoria's collections and research areas of Science, Indigenous Cultures and Australian History and Technology.

Due to the temporary closure of Curious?, some of our identification procedures have changed. Before you contact us, please read the following information:

Science specimens

Boy holding a rock specimen
Inspecting a specimen

Please provide all the information you can about the specimen, including when and where it was found or collected. Please also tell us whether you would like the specimen back (items can be collected from the Museum by arrangement).

Rocks and minerals

We may be able to identify some rocks and minerals with good quality photographs and detailed information about the locality of the find. In many cases, detailed identifications will not be possible from photographs and locality alone. We will endeavour to assist you with other services or resources where we cannot provide an identification.

Please submit your specimen to us online.

Animals and fossils

We can only identify animals and fossils with detailed locality information and a good quality photo.

Please submit this information to us by email, attaching a photo using our enquiry form, or by post.

Posting insect and spider specimens: Insect and spider specimens should be frozen an airtight plastic container overnight before posting. It is illegal to send most live animals through the post. Freezing kills the specimens humanely and ensures that they reach us in good condition. Do not put any flammable liquid, such as methylated spirits, in the container since this is illegal to post. Museums Victoria does not accept responsibility for items sent to us by post. Australia Post reserves the right to destroy any material that becomes physically offensive.

Manufactured or hand-crafted objects

For all other objects, manufactured or natural, we require a good quality photo in the first instance. When taking photos, please position a ruler beside the object to provide a sense of scale. It is also helpful to take photos from several different angles.

Please provide us with as much information as you can about the object, including, where known:

  • What is the history of the object?
  • When, where and by whom was it made, owned or used?
  • In what condition is the object?
  • What are its dimensions?
  • Any other information (e.g. any distinguishing features, serial numbers, trademarks)

We cannot store manufactured or hand-crafted objects items while identification is in progress. 

Please do not post precious objects, precious documents or photographs. Museums Victoria does not accept any responsibility for items sent to us by post.

Please submit your photos and provenance information by email, by post, or use our online enquiry form.

Postal address

Museums Victoria
PO Box 666
Melbourne VIC 3001


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