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Van Kley Science Museum

All about the Museum

Hope College Biology Museum

The Van Kley Science Museum houses a large collection of live animals, including small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and birds. Over 20 different species, from tiny marine invertebrates to an 8 foot boa constrictor, can be found in the Museum! The Museum is also home to a wide array of animal artifacts such as bones, skulls, and shells.

The Science Museum is a space that is dedicated to hands-on learning and is currently used for:

  • Educational outreach programs and presentations
  • Tours for groups of all ages, from preschoolers to senior citizens
  • Hope College Summer Science Camp sessions
  • Housing animals used for teaching in college courses

Presentations at the Science Museum can be tailored to your groups' specific needs and educational focus. Past programs have included:

  • Vertebrate Group Characteristics
  • Habitat Adaptations
  • Animal Classification
  • Special Presentation

The Science Museum is staffed by Lori Hertel, the museum director and director of laboratories for the Biology Department, and by almost a dozen students from Hope College.

Many of the students are Biology Majors in the Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program. In addition, a number of students are enrolled in the Education Program at the College.

Each member of the Museum staff greatly enjoys being able to share their love and knowledge of animals with others. They look foward to seeing you at the Museum soon!

History of the Museum

The history of the Science Museum dates back to 1904, when a room on the third floor of the new Van Raalte Hall was designated to house the collection of "curiosities" the college had collected since its founding in 1866. By 1915, this collection included weapons, shells, animals skulls, replicas of famous statues, and over 5000 specimens of moss. At the time, only a few elite community members took any interest in the museum.

When Van Raalte Hall was renovated after World War II, and the Museum bacame accessible by only a narrow emergecny staircase, it was largely forgotton about. The crumbling collection was rediscovered by a group of students in the late 1960s, and in 1974, the Biology and Geology departments began moving items from the collection to the new Peale Science Center for safe-keeping. This collection soon evolved into the Science Museum. When Peale was renovated and the current A. Paul Schaap Science Center constructed in 2004, the expanded Van Kley Museum was born.

Museum Hours, Location and Contact Info

The Museum is usually open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Weekend hours are by appointment only. Museum hours may vary due to the academic calendar.

Admission to the Museum is free.

The Museum is available for free group tours. To arrange a tour, please contact:

Lori Hertel
Museum Director
Phone: 616-395-7722
Email: hertel@hope.edu

Please visit the Museum in person:

The Van Kley Museum
A. Paul Schaap Science Center
Hope College
35 East 12th Street
Holland, MI 49423