The scientific collections are essential for research in taxonomy, systematics and biogeography, and are arranged systematically
The zoological collections contain nearly 4.5 million objects. In terms of numbers insects are dominating. Whale skeletons are by far the largest objects. Many invertebrates are very small. Part of the collection is therefore in the form of slide preparations. It may be whole animals mounted on slides, or thin sections stained and mounted. Our collections are international in scope and have a broad systematic and geographic coverage. The oldest objects in the collections date from the 18th Century. Scientific expeditions and donations ensure that the collections continue to grow, enhancing their value for research and education.
Field diaries, log books, and other documents from collecting activities and donations are preserved in the museum archives.
The oldest collections are from the 18th century. Later additions include material from a number of Swedish expeditions in the late 19th and early 20th century. They contain thousands of types and expand continuously through field work in many parts of the world, mainly in Sweden and in the tropics and subtropics.
The objects are foremost accessible to scientists who either visit the collection or have the specimens sent on loan. They are also used for exhibitions and educational purposes.
More than three million specimens are found in our entomological collections.
The only thing the various animals belonging to this group have in common, is their lack of a vertebral column. Our invertebrate collections hold everything from tiny flatworms to large squids.
Our vertebrate collections comprise close to 400.000 objects (890.000 specimens), including 200.000 birds, 100.000 mammals, 60.000 fishes (470.000 specimens) and 20.000 amphibians and reptiles.
Information about the collections are to some extent found in our databases, or in species lists.
The collections are arranged systematically and are spread from attic to basement in the museum. Read more about the storage of our collections.