Mammal specimens for this collection were gathered from all over the world during long period of time. They were brought to the Museum by specially organized expeditions and by individual scientists, who visited foreign countries. Some specimens were brought by local peoples, mainly citizens of the city of Lviv and neighboring part of the country.

Very first and oldest exhibits arrived to the museum in 1823, when the Cabinet of Natural History was just created in the Jan Kazimierz University (now Ivan Franko National University of Lviv). These specimens were brought from Vienna, since they were duplicates of the Royal Emperor Collections. Many things had changed during last 200 years and some of the information was lost. Only few specimens still have old labels, which confirm that these specimens were brought from Vienna.

The mammal collection of the museum grew and expanded independently from the history of the country. Benedict Dybowski (30.04.1833-30.01.1930) had great impact on the expansion of the collection. He was well known zoologist and naturalist, director of the Museum and chair of the Department of Zoology, and also the dean of the Faculty of Philosophy. He developed the Cabinet of Natural History into the fully functional Zoological Museum. His scientifi c collections from the Lake of Baikal, Far east, Kamchatka and Halytchyna were the basis for the museum, which became specialized in zoology only. Owing to the scientific and educational work of B. Dybowski, his students continued expanding the Museum’s collections. they were traveling and collecting all over the world and some of them even settled down abroad. For example, Jan Kalinowski, who moved to Peru, was the one to supply mammals for the Museum from the South America.

Many important exhibits were collected by Erzy Wodzicki (02.01.1875-22.01.1952), who was known as a traveler, hunter and naturalist. He was traveling in Central Africa and in Tian-Shahn mountains at the beginning of the 20th century. E. Wodzicki and his brother Alexander traveled and hunted in Deutsche-Оst Africa (now the territory of Tanzania) in 1909-1910. There they succeeded to obtain an extensive collection of heads and sculls (with horns) of different antelopes, giraffes, grey rhinoceros. Two years Wodzicki spent preserving and stuffing his African trophies. In 1913 E.Wodzicki left for Tian-Shahn mountains following recommendations of his friends, from where he brought back big collection of sculls and horns of Asian ruminants. Нe published two books about his adventures: “800 kilometers deep into Africa” (1911) and “In the mountains in the sky (Tian-Shahn)” (1938). The entire collection of trophies of E. Wodzicki was donated to the Zoological Museum by his wife Mary after his death in 1952.

Another remarkable collection is a set of bats gathered in Liberia by the expedition of Jan Hirschler (07.05.1883–01.03.1951), who was mostly collecting insects and reptiles there in 1936-1937. The Second World War interrupted scientifi c activities of the Museum.

All Museum’s collections were gathered in one hall without any order and stayed there during the entire war. After the war ended and University renewed its public service, Museum started to restore the exhibition and renewed field expeditions. These first field trips were mostly performed by individual scientists, such as M.T. Yanushevych (Transcarpathian province, 1946-1949), Antkiv and Brytskyy (Lviv, 1948), Bytchko (Trans carpathian province, 1948), D.V. Vladyshevskyy (Transcarpathian province, 1949), Maltchenko, Pospielov (Lviv, 1949), Ya.M. Vasylkiv (Lviv province, 1950), Lavrynenko, Masnyy, Pokalo (Transcarpathian province, 1950). Josef Valenta and Galyna Benediuk were studying rodent fauna of the Transcarpathian province in 1952-1955 and submitted their scientifi c collections to the museum.

The whale-hunting fl oating factory “Slava” brought a large collection of whale bones and several samples of whale tissues and embryos from the Antarctica in 1956 and donated it to the museum.

Several important collecting were done in the southern part of Ukraine in 1957: in the Crimea by Serikova and in Black Sea Nature Reserve by T. Yatsun. Caucasian expedition to the Caucasian Nature Reserve in 1958-1959 brought large number of rodents for the Museum. At the same time Z.I. Pavliv and V.V. Veselovskyy continued to gather materials in the Crimea and Carpathians. M. Lavriv and I. Yavorskyy went to Kazakhstan in 1962 for collecting animal samples, including mammals. Another collection of mammals from the Caucasian Nature Reserve was gathered in 1966 by Kovaliov, Lomatchenko and Ilkiv. Next year I. Yemelianova brought large collection of rodents from the Black Sea Nature Reserve as a part of her masters fi eld research. At the same time food remains and excrement’s of carnivorous mammals were collected in order to establish their trophic relationships with rodents and hoofed mammals. Romaniuk carried out scientific research and collecting the museum exhibits in Ala-Tau in 1972, while M.N. Vozniuk joined the geobotanical expedition to Kazakhstan in 1973. Later she was actively collecting specimens in the western part of Ukraine.

The Laboratory of Geobotanical Research of the Biological faculty of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv was led by V.M. Turkevytch. He organized field collecting trips to Kazakhstan, Altai, Kurgan, Khanty-Mansiysk during 1974-1997 and brought interesting specimens that enriched Museum’s collections and exhibition. Very important from the scientific point of view and very extensive collection of mammals was gathered by N.A. Polushina, who spent all her life studying mammals in the city of Lviv, in the Carpathians and Transcarpathian province. The most important of the Museum’s recent specimens were collected in 1997-2004 in Lugansk Steppe Reserve by O.V. Kondratenko (08.06.1975–30.12.2004).

The Museum’s collections are continuing to grow and expand, mainly due to the scientific activity of the employees of the Museum and the Department of Zoology of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, and also because of the work of volunteers, students, naturalists, etc. As a conclusion we would like to acknowledge the kind assistance of the following peoples in collecting and preserving Museum’s exhibits and collections: former director of the Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv M.N.°Vozniuk; associate professors of the Department of Gardening and Ecology of the Lugansk National pedagogical University, Dr. O.V. Kondratenko and Dr. I.V. Zagorodniuk; associate professors of the Department of Zoology of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Dr. N.A. Polushyna, Dr. Ye.B. Stebrodolska; research scientist of the Institute of Ecology of the Carpathians of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Dr. A.-T.V. Bashta; PhD student of the Institute of Ecology of the Carpathians of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Yu.I. Zizda; research scientist of the Botanical Garden of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Dr. A. Markevych; former student of the Department of Zoology of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, V. Mysiuk; research scientist of the I.I. Shmalhausen Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Dr. A.V. Mishta; associate professor of the Department of Forestry of the Ukrainian State University of Forestry, Dr. I.V. Delehan; chair of the Department of Evolutionary and Genetic Basis of Systematics of the I.I. Shmalhausen Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Dr. S.V. Mezhzherin; research scientists of the Department of Mammalogy of the Zoological Museum of the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Dr. S.V. Kruskop and Dr. N.M. Spasskaya; research scientist of the Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr. P.P. Strielkov.