Our museum provides the general public with easy access to knowledge on nature and its huge diversity and beauty. It also provides insight into the processes going on in nature. The museum is a focal point for the public to gain information and experience from exhibitions here and at other locations, and also at a distance via webcams, digital lessons and websites.
Top ‘must see’ collections
Naturalis Biodiversity Center will merge the collections of the Amsterdam Zoological Museum and the Dutch National Herbarium (currently held by the universities of Leiden, Amsterdam and Wageningen) and integrate these with the State collections and Utrecht University’s herbarium collection (already curated by Naturalis Biodiversity Center).
The main parts of the collections are the:
- Naturalis geology collection;
- Amsterdam Zoological Museum and Naturalis zoology collections;
- Dutch National Herbarium’s botany collection.
And our collections will also be expanded to include:
- Wageningen University’s entomology and fish (barbels) collections;
- Amsterdam University’s herbarium specimens.
We curate these collections both for scientific purposes and to preserve this part of our national heritage for future generations.
Our collections focus primarily on the Netherlands and neighbouring countries, while South-East Asia, tropical America and Africa are also well-represented. We also have important fossil and rock collections from the subsurface.
Sources of knowledge and inspiration
As well as merging the collections, we will also integrate them for optimal use by scientists from the Netherlands and elsewhere. Parts of the collections can also be accessed on the internet and will be on display in the museum for a wider audience. Naturalis Biodiversity Center's added value is that we can combine these largely complementary collections and make them accessible at a central location. This will attract national and international scientists and ensure more intensive use and an increase in scientific and social output.
Each fossil, skeleton and preserved organism yields valuable information on evolution and the organisms’ distributions and ecological functions, and so represents part of the key to successful conservation and sustainable development in the future.