Located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California, the University of La Verne is an independent, non-profit private university providing rich educational opportunities for both the academic and personal development of its students in a friendly, engaged setting. The University's Cultural and Natural History Collections was established in 1891, when the doors first opened at Lordsburg College, the predecessor of the university. The Collections has been supporting the educational mission of the institution ever since as both a teaching collection and museum.

The Cultural and Natural History Collections at University of La Verne houses over 70,000 items that cover more than 65 million years of history. All our materials were donated to the University by alumni, faculty, scientists, naturalists, historians, anthropologists, and community members for use in student-centered, faculty-driven, and community engaged research, teaching, and exhibitions. Our mission is to conserve, preserve, and share objects, artifacts, and specimens from Earth’s cultural and natural history for the benefit of current and future generations.

Edmund C. Jaeger Papers

Its collection of Edmund C. Jaeger’s personal and professional papers includes family correspondence, photographs, journals, handwritten corrections for his manuscripts, and, most importantly, his original 1947 field notes recorded during the time that Jaeger first discovered the common poorwill going into a hibernation-like state, known as "torpor".

James Z. Gilbert Collection

The Pleistocene specimens were collected from the famed La Brea tar pits by James Zaccheus Gilbert, who is responsible for creating the core collection at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Our Tar Pit materials were originally excavated during Gilbert's early years and have been stored for over a century, untouched or examined by scholars. In addition to the Pleistocene specimens, the Collections has a Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) taxidermied by Gilbert in 1917, as well as fossil fish specimens that he and David Starr Jordon collected at the turn of the 20th century during their research trip in Lompoc, California.

Louisa Williamson Hutchison Basket Collection

Born in California in 1866, Louisa W. Hutchison was a prolific collector of early California Native American baskets. Her father, Nelson Williamson, was the first to homestead on the Rancho de Azusa Dalton, their home located on what is now the Santa Fe Dam. Having grown up in the San Gabriel Valley, Mrs. Hutchison was very familiar with the local Native American tribes and customs. A portion of her enormous and impressive basket collection was donated to the University of La Verne through her granddaughter in 1977.