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.
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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…
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of collections

Our collections that we use for scientific research have been built up over several centuries. The colonial past and the redressing of injustice should receive the attention they deserve. It is therefore a good thing that research is carried out into the provenance of Dutch museum objects that are of cultural, historical or religious importance for their country of origin.

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A collection of butterflies

from the collection

Work never stops in our collection. Preparing new animals, scrubbing meteorites and cleaning whale skeletons is just a tiny part of that work.

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Vacht van een mierenegel
November 10th, 2023

Not the last of his species after all

A British expedition has shot the first ever images of a Sir David Attenboroughs long-beaked echidna. Until then, the specimen at Naturalis was considered to be the only evidence that the species ever existed at all.
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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


The Naturalis collection is one of the largest naturalis history collections on the planet. Maintaining it, and making it accessible, is a huge undertaking. 

Stranded whale

Whale strandings: What can we learn from it?

It sometimes happens that a large dead whale washes up on the Dutch coast, or dies in the waters off the coast. Naturalis Biodiversity Center then has the task to assist in salvaging the mammal and to preserve parts of the animal for scientific research…
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The holotype of a cicada species
August 24th, 2022

True bugs in the picture

This is it: Pseudaufidus trifasciatus , a cicada species described in 1957 by entomologist and curator H. C. Blöte from Leiden. The cicada depicted above is not just any specimen of that species, but it is the so-called holotype: The specimen used when the…
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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

works here

Here at Naturalis, tens of people work on collection maintenance, and on making sure it is available for researchers, both physically and online. 

Collection managers and taxidermists