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Our scientific collections

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The Natural History Museum contains 5.7 million scientific objects from all corners of the world – from mammal skulls, wildflower seeds, and gold nuggets to DNA and sperm samples – and the collection is ever growing.

Most objects are safely stored in magazines, whereas our nicest specimens are displayed in our exhibitions. The collections are archives of natural diversity and are used by scientists and student all over the world. 

Why we collect

Our scientific collections are catalogues of the natural diversity of the world. In this video you will get to know our collections and the important role they play in gaining knowledge about nature. 

Our main collections

New additions to the collections

There is a lot of highly skilled butterfly collectors in Norway and from time to time private collections are donated to the museum. In the photo Lepidoptera curator Leif Aarvik is transferring donated specimens from Bjørn Magne Fjellstad (now living in Sweden) to the museum collection. – The quality of this specimens is impressive, says Aarvik. Fjellstad's collections were made primarily in i Østfold and Southern Sweden in the 1980-1990's. The donation consists of 10–15 thousand prepared specimens. 

Read more about the insect collection