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Being under the form of specimens, tissues or DNA samples; of stuffed organisms, dried herbaria plates or deep frozen plastic tubes, collections are of the utmost importance for taxonomists ! They contain our basic reference material and our most precious source of study, second only to nature itself.
This view is, unfortunately, not always understood properly and we have heard of too many cases where irreplaceable treasures have simply been lost or destroyed out of ignorance. Nature is under pressure, species disappear, and in many cases collections are the only remaining link with some aspects of the history of life. We must struggle and convince for the future of our collections, we must conserve them and we must expand them as much as possible.
These pages will be in construction for some time but ultimately we aim at proposing a number of useful information related to the collection management and exploration. Please bear with us as we are building these pages
Main Natural History collections in Switzerland (with short description and search engine when available) GOTO A
Main Natural History collections out of Switzerland (with short description and search engine when available) GOTO B
Main tissue, DNA or RNA collections worldwide (with short description and search engine when available) (Work in progress)
Collections management resources (Work in progress)
Collections usage (Work in progress)
Metadatabases (Work in progress)
(Note: this might be developed, with further information on what exactly is in the collections, number of specimens etc…)
Meta data on Swiss collections are available through the MeDa Collect project page.
Addresses below link directly to the collection pages when available.
Natural history Museums
Museum of Paleontology
Note: Several other medium sized institutions, not specifically listed above also have summarized metadata on line (Number of specimens, main origin or collectors, etc.)
Lists of Natural History Museums in the World are available at