The CUMV Bird Collection contain a record of the development of ornithology at Cornell from the earliest days of Arthur A. Allen and Louis Agassiz Fuertes. Dr. Arthur A. Allen, on the faculty at Cornell from 1915–1953, made the name Cornell nearly synonymous with ornithology in the United States
. Allen contributed many birds to the collection, and possibly even more importantly, attracted a very large number of students interested in birds. His numerous students contributed specimens from their research and travels all over the United States
, and other parts of the world. The CU collection contain many specimens collected by of Cornell faculty such as George M. Sutton, Charles Sibley, William Dilger, and Tom Cade, but also contains student specimens of Dean Amadon, Walter Bock, F. Graham Cooch, John Emlen, Herbert Friedmann, Ludlow Griscom, Harry Hann, Robert Mengel, Eugene Morton, Ralph Palmer, Kenneth Parkes, Olin S. Pettingill, Alan Phillips, Austin Rand, James Rising, Lester Short, Stanley Temple, Harrison Tordoff, David Wingate, as well as many others. The CUMV Bird Collection currently consists of approximately 38,300 round skins, 700 flat skins, 1,000 spread wings, 5,500 skeletons, 1,400 fluid-preserved specimens, 3,200 egg sets, 590 nests, and 1,000 uncataloged mounts. Approximately 350 of the skeletons have an associated flatskin, and approximately 150 round skins have a separate spread wing.