These bird eggs are a small sample of 517 eggs collected by Yellowknife geologist and naturalist William McDonald. Most of the eggs were collected between 1940 and 1955 in the Great Slave Lake area, a prime habitat for waterfowl, raptors, and other migrating birds. The pigment on an egg helps to camouflage from predators while in an open nest, and also protects from ultraviolet radiation. The collection is significant because it is well documented with excellent notes on when and where the eggs were found, and the great variety allows for comparison within a range or species. The age of the collection is of interest as well: the eggs were collected before pesticides were widely used, which caused shell thinness and fragility during incubation.
A sample of tarnished silver, collected by Sam Otto at Echo Bay, Great Bear Lake in the 1930s during the height of the radium and silver rush. Later in life, Sam Otto was a Yellowknife-based prospector and trapper.