Handling Collection

About the handling collection

The handling collection is made up of de-accessioned specimens and artifacts, reproductions and prop material. There are so many ways to put them to use: teachers can share artifacts and specimens with students; artists can use them to draw from; learners can study them. Whatever you use them for, we hope you’ll share your projects with us on our Learning Portal by creating a playlist.

Provocation Packs are pre-packaged collections organized by discipline. Each pack contains multiple specimens or artifacts from the Handling Collection and an identification key. How you use the material is up to you.

How to order

Provocation Packs are available for free, two-week loans to BC schools and organizations only. Individuals will be considered on a case by case basis. There are limited copies available so please plan accordingly. If there are specific materials you are interested in please reach out to outreach@royalbcmuseum.bc.ca to make your request.

Request a Provocation Pack


The archaeology handling collection comprises items and replicas made from rock, bone and other natural materials from early times in our history.


The botany handling collection comprises an extensive variety of indigenous, introduced and invasive species.


The entomology handling collection includes insects and arachnids from all across BC and other parts of the world.


The invertebrate handling collection comprises real and replica specimens of sea life from our coastal and inland waterways.

Heart crab Gumboot chiton Purple Sea Star Moon snail Heart urchin Purple-ring topsnail Branching coral Limpet with barnacles

Modern History

The modern history handling collection is composed of objects relating to the settler experience in homes, on farms, in schools and at work in British Columbia.


The paleontology handling collection comprises of two pre-packaged kits for classroom use. The first kit is Wood versus Fossil and contains a confounding selection of materials for learners to ponder over. The second kit is Cast versus Fossil and has examples of casts and real fossils for learners to compare and contrast.


The vertebrate handling collection is composed of bird and mammal taxidermy, bones and skeletal articulations. Great for art projects or any study that requires looking at animals up close.