August J. Schoenebeck Egg Collection
August J. Schoenebeck, a former curator at the Milwaukee Public Museum, and others collected these eggs from the 1870s into the early 1900s. Date, location, and habitat notes were recorded for most species, making them scientifically valuable. Monsignor Julius Chylinski, chaplin at St. Joseph's Provincial Convent and later pastor at St. Peter's church, reasoned that the Sisters of St. Joseph would be the best curators of the egg collection. The entire collection was brought to St. Joseph's Academy in 1923 and was cared for by Sister Mary Alexia. In 1941, Sister Alexia compiled a catalog of the egg collection from Schoenebeck's original notes. The Sister's of St. Joseph's donated the egg collection and specimens of mounted birds to the Museum of Natural History in 1970. The eggs remained in their original cotton-filled boxes until 1995 when they were moved to the current exhibit.
These cases contain selected examples from a large historically significant pan-North American egg collection displaying 768 specimens. The collection also includes examples from Africa, Europe, and Australia. This display consists of three newly constructed cases arranged by family and includes rare or extinct varieties such as Passenger Pigeon, Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, and Whooping Crane. Associated specimens collected in concert with the eggs include complete nests and multiple mounted examples of the bird species themselves. These specimens are curated for research within the Ornithological collection.