The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum
At first glance you could mistake these displays for real-life animals and no one would blame you. These are just a few of several thousands of species in Benedictine’s Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum.
The Museum’s Start
Created in the 1920’s by Hilary and Edmund Jurica, the exhibit started as a hands-on experience for the school’s biology department.
And as the wildlife has grown, so too have the people who see it.
“In 1971 we opened the museum to the public so that these things could be shared with everyone,” said Karly Tumminello the director curator at the museum. “We serve 20,000 people now so we have a good reach into the community. We’re always looking to expand and offer these wonderful services to all.”
The Inspire Grant & What The School Will Do With The Money
The museum’s audience will soon go beyond its habitat thanks to a $50,000 Inspire Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library.
The school will use the money to make some of its rare displays more accessible like its indigenous fossils and extinct bird eggs available for online viewing.
“This grant will allow us to bring those out in a different way: increase accessibility, we’ll be able to digitize, make a new database, and online data portal and also image all of them. So we’ll have very good, high quality images to share with the public,” said Tumminello.
The school estimates the database will take around two years to complete, and eventually hopes to put all its species online.
Until then you can go in-person to spot some of the wildlife.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal.