About the Center

The Center for Biological Research Collections (CBRC) is a consortium of research-based scientific collections at Indiana University, namely, the IU Paleontology Collections in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences with more than 1.5 million fossil specimens including 1,000 unique type specimens representing more than 400 million years of Earth’s history, and the W.R. Adams Zooarchaeology Collections in the Department of Anthropology, with holdings of over 10,000 modern comparative faunal remains inclusive of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish, as well as archaeological specimens from the North American Plains. The Center enhances collection-based research and education in biodiversity, zooarchaeology, paleontology, and related disciplines by providing shared infrastructural and data management support for IU’s biological research collections.

Our Values

  • Encourage and facilitate inquiry-based science
  • Push the boundaries of understanding to reveal Earth’s biological evolution
  • Share digital infrastructure platforms
  • Promote long-term preservation and stewardship of natural history specimens and associated metadata
  • Embrace enjoyment by framing activities that spark curiosity, excitement, and joy
  • Respect relationships by giving time, attention, and care to communicate, problem-solve, and build trust
  • Articulate standards for inclusive and respectful shared activities and spaces 

Executive Summary
CBRC Strategic Plan 2022-25

Mission Statement

The mission of the Center is to enhance collection-based research and education by providing shared infrastructure and data management support of Indiana University’s natural history collections. CBRC trains graduate and undergraduate students and volunteers in curation, management, and digital platforms. CBRC thereby promotes inquiry-based science, promotes long-term preservation and stewardship of natural history specimens and associated metadata, and provides educational enhancement to create citizen science leaders for the State of Indiana. CBRC benefits from the financial support of administration in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Provost at Indiana University, and generous contributions of our alumni and private donors.

How the CBRC works

The Center coordinates policy, develops digital infrastructure, provides shared resources, facilitates educational outreach, and serves as a collaborative research platform for IU’s department-based zooarchaeological and paleontological specimen collections. It develops external funding streams for upkeep and development of collection infrastructure, and it helps support data management and digitization for research grants that use IU’s collections. The Center interfaces with partners to develop the specific digital infrastructure needed for biological collections and collaborates with other collections to develop shared infrastructure and best practices. 



CBRC Strategic Plan + Executive Summary