Brief about the Museum in the Department of Zoology
In the history of Madras Christian College, the Department of Zoology and the Natural History Society have been significant since 1885. Initially, the department had a modest collection of specimens on which Dr. Henderson worked with the department to increase the number of specimen and showcased a variety of organisms including corals, gastropods, fish, and reptiles. The museum was in the college's Natural History section at the Paris corner before the college relocated to its current location in 1937.
In 1929, when the department included fieldwork as an essential component of the curriculum, the staff, with the assistance of the students on their study tours and field trips, collected a variety of specimens from the field study areas. Dr. John P. Joshua, who was an amalgamation of a scholar, scientist, and devoted museologist, was in charge of bringing the museum to the distinctive prominence it presently enjoys among the college museums in India. His efforts paid off when the museum was acknowledged and listed in the Government of India’s directory of Museums of India. The museum, spread at about 1200 square feet area, houses a wide range of collections from phylum Protozoa to Mammalia, including minor phyla. About 1800 wet and dry specimens, 250 slide-mounted specimen, 25 Alizarine-prepared specimens, 100 stuffed animals and birds, as well as a wide range of skulls and horns are included in our museum collection. The museum also has rare specimen from Florida, Australia, Krusadi Islands, Gulf of Mannar, Rameshwaram, Western Ghats, Pulicat and a good collection of Fossils from Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. The highlight of the museum is the Koala bear, whose skin was brought from Australia and stuffed by a taxidermist in MCC. Other unique collections include the human fetus at three stages of development, skull of rhinoceros, vertebrae of shark, large carapace of a turtle, complete skeletal system of Ostrich and human, corals, molar teeth of an elephant and the baleen of a whale.
The museum is open for the public especially the schools in and around Chennai. Many schools have visited our museum where our staff explain the importance of the museum and the exhibits. Students and teachers are usually enthralled by the wide range of faunal collection and the rare specimens which they see for the first time or may be last time also.
Constant curative measures are carried out to maintain the specimen in their right colour, shape and texture.
As the department museum is in the National Directory of Museums of India, the museum is open for public viewing.
Dr. K. Sunil Kumar,
Department of Zoology,
Madras Christian College,
Tambaram, Chennai – 600 059
Classes will begin on 19th June , 2023 for I UG, II UG, III UG and II PG students