The Natural History Museum at American University of Beirut holds scientifically priceless collections of specimens of animals and plants of Lebanon and the region. For several decades, these collections have been under the care of the Biology Department which has managed to curate and maintain them. These unique resources for scientific research and education are the only collections that represent the biodiverse history of our area. They are working to make these more accessible for research and teaching, and to expand on a regular basis in order to accurately reflect the region's faunal and floral life.
The collections contain more than 15,000 vertebrate and invertebrate specimens of over 1,200 species from many parts of the world (Europe, Africa and North America), although the majority of specimens are from Lebanon and the region (the Arab Middle East, Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus). Some of these are valuable type specimens, i.e., particular specimens that define the characteristics of a species and which are designated in the scientific literature as taxonomic reference specimens.