The Collection of Genomic Resources has its origins tied to the growth of the Mammals Collection in the 1980s under the direction of Dr. Mark Engstrom, who is now at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Major growth continued after Dr. Robert Dowler became the curator of mammals in 1988.
The Collection of Genomic Resources was recognized as an independent collection when Dr. Loren Ammerman arrived and assumed the role of curator, and she remains in that position today. Under her direction, the collection has accumulated more than 19,000 vouchered samples. The specimens are comprised primarily of mammals, but tissues of birds, reptiles and amphibians are also included. In addition to frozen tissues, the collection also maintains resources preserved in ethanol and lysis buffer.