Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum

One of the current construction projects on campus is an addition to the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum. The collections of the life science museum were originally housed in the Heber J. Grant and George H. Brimhall buildings. The museum was moved to its new location in 1978 and was named after naturalist Monte Lafayette Bean. Bean had made an large donation of animal trophies to the university.

The new addition to the museum will allow it to continuing offering a broad range of educational opportunities to students at BYU and throughout the community. These opportunities include specialized graduate and undergraduate research in the various systematic collections housed in the museum and tours for casual visitors. The museum also provides educational opportunities for elementary and secondary schools as well as community civic groups.

Model of the proposed M. L. Bean Museum, ca. 1978.

Model of the proposed M. L. Bean Museum, ca. 1978.

The Brigham Young University Archives is home to several collections that document the history of the M. L. Bean Museum. They include:

  • UA 1132 Monte L. Bean Museum records, 1924-1983. Collection contains office records from the Monte L. Bean Museum including files relating to the dedication, accounting records, annual progress reports, organizational charts, and correspondence. There are also 10 volumes of the research diaries of Robert G. Bee that document his studies of ornithology–mostly in the state of Utah from the years 1924-1962.
  • UA SC 117 History of the Life Science Museum movement at Brigham Young University, 1900-1980. A history of the life science museum at BYU by Wilmer W. Tanner.
  • MSS 7361 Wilmer W. Tanner papers, 1940-2009. Collection documents Tanner’s career at Brigham Young University and includes extensive records and correspondence associated with the creation of and the endowment for the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum.

If you would like to know more about the materials available for studying the history of the M. L. Bean Life Science Museum, contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or

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