Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum (UMZM)

Welcome to the Zoological Museum

The Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum (UMZM) is a natural history museum located at the University of Montana. UMZM is the largest zoological collection in Montana and serves as the principal repository for important bird and mammal state records. The museum provides important resources for research, teaching and educational outreach.

UMZM contains over 22,500 specimens of birds and mammals; this includes excellent representation of vertebrate biodiversity in the Northern Rocky Mountains, as well as unique special collections from around the world. In addition to study skins and skeletal material, the museum has a growing number of tissues and photographs.

Brief History

Begun in the 1890's with contributions by such notable biologists as Morton John Elrod, the museum contains collections from as early as the 1850's up to the present, including a collection of American Bison bones collected from an archaeological site dating back to 1490 ad.  Dr. Philip L. Wright (right) took responsibility for the museum in 1939 and continued to add specimens until his passing in 1997. That same year, in a dedication ceremony, the University of Montana renamed the museum in honor of Dr. Wright's efforts to build the collection.  Other past curators include Dr. Robert Hoffmann, a mammalogist who went on to become the Secretary of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History after getting his start in the UMZM during the 1950's.

Today the museum continues to grow and move forward as the leading zoological collections repository in the region.

Dr. Philip Wright