We are currently trying to make our collections more available to everyone! In recent years, the ability to accurately digitize natural history specimens has led to major advances across many disciplines. Our museum supports these and future efforts through a concerted effort to digitize and provide access to specimens within our care.  Over the next few years, we are re-envisioning how we distribute our collections to the public. New and emerging technologies are providing more dynamic and effective platforms for communicating our science and removing barriers to collections access. 

To date, we have 3D scanned hundreds of specimens in our collections, including modern and fossil animals, and plants. This is a very active area of research, and we are constantly exploring new ways to make our 3D digitization program faster, more accurate, and more flexible.

Our capabilities are:

  • Artec Space Spider surface scanner
  • Artec Eva surface scanner
  • Next Engine Laser Texture scanner
  • Photogrammetry workstations
  • Collaborative agreements with local institutions housing medical or micro computed tomography instrumentation

At this time, you can find 3D digitized specimens from our collections on the Gray Fossil Site & Museum Sketchfab page

In 2019, we launched a collaboration with the ETSU Department of Digital Media to explore how Augmented and Virtual Reality applications can be used in museum settings to promote research and education.  Although still in a pilot phase, trailers of the initial VR experince can be found on our YouTube page



  • American mastodon (Mammut americanum). Left Humerus.

  • 3D reconstruction (photogrammetry) of 2017 excavations.

  • Plaster jacket containing large mastodon skull from the Gray Fossil Site, TN.

  • Proboscidean pelvis recovered from the Gray Fossil Site, TN

  • Preliminary model. Right side only. 

  • Metapodial of a late Pleistocene mammoth (Mammuthus) from ETSU excavations at Saltville,