Top ‘must see’ collections - Naturalis Biodiversity Center

NCB Naturalis


The launch of Naturalis Biodiversity Center and its over 37 million objects – has created a world-class, natural history collection ranking fifth in the world, both in size and content.

Top ‘must see’ collections

Naturalis Biodiversity Center will merge the collections of the Amsterdam Zoological Museum and the Dutch National Herbarium (currently held by the universities of Leiden, Amsterdam and Wageningen) and integrate these with the State collections and Utrecht University’s herbarium collection (already curated by Naturalis Biodiversity Center).

The main parts of the collections are the:

  • Naturalis geology collection;
  • Amsterdam Zoological Museum and Naturalis zoology collections;
  • Dutch National Herbarium’s botany collection.

And our collections will also be expanded to include:

  • Wageningen University’s entomology and fish (barbels) collections;
  • Amsterdam University’s herbarium specimens.

We curate these collections both for scientific purposes and to preserve this part of our national heritage for future generations.

World heritage

Our collections focus primarily on the Netherlands and neighboring countries, while South-East Asia, tropical America and Africa are also well-represented. We also have important fossil and rock collections from the subsurface.

Sources of knowledge and inspiration

As well as merging the collections, we will also integrate them for optimal use by scientists from the Netherlands and elsewhere. Parts of the collections can also be accessed on the internet and will be on display in the museum for a wider audience. Naturalis Biodiversity Center's added value is that we can combine these largely complementary collections and make them accessible at a central location. This will attract national and international scientists and ensure more intensive use and an increase in scientific and social output.

Each fossil, skeleton and preserved organism yields valuable information on evolution and the organisms’ distributions and ecological functions, and so represents part of the key to successful conservation and sustainable development in the future.

More about our collection