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About the museum

Natural history museums are fundamental for understanding life on Earth as we undergo unprecedented loss of biodiversity and climate change through the actions of humans. With more than 250 years of records, the Biological Museum at Lund University plays a central role in research on the biodiversity crisis as well as the effects of climate change on our fauna and flora. 

Our collections hold about 13 million specimens, with a strong focus on Sweden and the other Nordic countries. We hold more than 40,000 type specimens (the specimens used to describe new species), meaning that our collections are used by scientists all over the world when describing new species and revising species definitions. 

In addition to holding records on the diversity of life, we have information about when and where new, potentially invasive, species have been recorded in Sweden, and also about when and where endangered or extinct species were last recorded. Specimens in our collections are also a record of how environmental pollutants have infiltrated nature, how traits of species have changed over time due to environmental changes, and how whole communities of species have changed over time. Our collections are also used by other disciplines such as history, osteology, medicine, art, artificial intelligence studies, etcetera.

The collections housed at the Biological Museum at Lund University are the second largest in Sweden and among the most important in Europe, both in terms of type specimens held, as well as long term series of collections. They have been amassed since 1735 when the collection of Kilian Stobaeus was donated to the university. New specimens continue to come in to the collections mainly through donations by researchers, amateur biologists, other museums as well as public authorities, companies and private persons.

The Biological Museum is a merger of the former Botanical Museum and the Museum of Zoology. Our collections are divided into three units, the herbarium, the zoological collections and the entomological collections. The Biological Museum is part of the Department of Biology, within the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Lund University. Our collections are open to researchers around the world through loans and our online databases and can be visited by appointment.

A pencil drawing of a man.

Project Stobaeanum

We have mapped Museum Stobaeanum's collections, their origin and history in a collaboration project. Museum Stobaeanum was the first public museum in Lund and opened in the early 18 century.

You find more about the project at the Department of History's website.

This project resulted in a book which you can find and read on the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology.