of our research

Worldwide collections, such as those of Naturalis, help to study, organize and understand nature. Natural history collections form an essential infrastructure for scientific research: biological and geological objects form an indispensable starting point for research that contributes to current issues such as climate change and the disappearance of species.

Read more about our research

Scientist in collection
Apollo butterflies


The Naturalis collection lists among the top 5 natural history collections worldwide. That offers possibilities for various collaborations in different fields.

Gestrande walvis

Walvisstrandingen: Wat kunnen we ervan leren?

Het gebeurt wel eens dat er een dode grote walvis aanspoelt op de Nederlandse kust, of overlijdt in de wateren voor de kust. Naturalis Biodiversity Center heeft dan de taak om te helpen bij het bergen van het zoogdier en om delen van het dier te bewaren…
Read more

we offer

Researchers can borrow collection objects from Naturalis, visit the Naturalis collection or have access to a wide range of (digital) literature on biodiversity.


Visit the collections

The collections are available for research by visiting scientists. If you wish to visit a collection you can contact us by sending a request to . A request from a student must be accompanied by a letter of the institute.
Read more
Pigeon book

Naturalis' Library

Naturalis has one of the world's largest collections of scientific, taxonomic and paleontological literature. Over 300,000 books and magazines about the natural world and biodiversity can be discovered there. From leading international magazines to…
Read more


Do you have a collection or a special item at home and would you like to donate it to Naturalis?

Of course we like that! Unfortunately not all objects are suitable for inclusion in our collection. Naturalis selects on the scientific and aesthetic value of the objects. We only include objects with sufficiently accurate data or that are suitable for use in the exhibition. It is also important that the objects are provided with the correct exemptions. Contact for more information.

Parasitoid wasp
Calf of tapir

from the collection

Work never stops in our collection. Whether preparing new animals, scrubbing meteorites or cleaning whale skeletons.

Read more news

Old gun
May 27th, 2019

Becky's Blog: Flint, Stock and Barrel

A few months ago, the geology collection manager discovered a gun in her collection. Happily, it was no cause for emergency. This was not a modern gun by any means, but an old flintlock pistol broken into four large pieces. What was it doing in a natural…
Read more
Uithuizen dozen
February 22nd, 2019

De verhuizing van 160.000 dozen vol planten

De verhuizing van het herbarium van Naturalis is in volle gang. Het herbarium omvat maar liefst 5.5 miljoen objecten, verspreid over 160.000 collectiedozen. In deze collectie bevinden zich oude herbaria vanaf de 16de eeuw, een collectie economische botanie…
Read more
January 2nd, 2019

An animal big enough to sit in

The story behind the biggest Neptune's cup in the collection of Naturalis Biodiversity Center That’s right - this is a story about an animal big enough to sit in . It might be hard to comprehend when you look at it, but the Neptune’s cup ( Cliona patera…
Read more

Online access
to our collection and collection data

Catalogue of Life 
One worldwide name list of all animals, plants and fungi that have been described by scientists.
Are you  a species specialist working to make taxonomic knowledge and type information available online? Please consider the software-as-a-service package Linnaeus.
As a researcher or collection manager, you can quickly browse the Naturalis digital collection.
Netherlands Biodiversity API/Data Services
For software developers or bio-computer scientists, we built an API to provide access the digital collection information from Naturalis.

Bio Portal