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.
Before you contact us, please read the following information:
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 during opening hours).
Rocks and minerals
We can only identify rocks and minerals if we are able to view the specimen itself – photos alone are insufficient.
Animals and fossils
We can only identify animals and fossils if we are able to view the specimen itself or see a good quality photo.
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. If you bring an object to the Museum for identification, we will photograph it and return it to you on the spot.
Please do not post precious objects, precious documents or photographs. Museums Victoria does not accept any responsibility for items sent to us by post.
PO Box 666
Melbourne VIC 3001