The Eastern Illinois University insect collection was started almost a century ago and was developed in the early years from 1919 to 1948 by Dr. Charles Spooner. The diversity of orders represented in the collection was extensively developed through the work of Dr. Garland Riegel in the period between 1948 and 1978. As a result of the work of Dr. Michael Goodrich from 1964 to 2015, the collection has grown to over 300,000 specimens.
In 2021 the bulk of the collection was donated to the Chicago Field Museum. The Field Museum has incorporated the collection into their current collections.