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Modern museums of Natural History include amongst their priorities the conservation and gathering of collections. Collections are a primordial source of information on the world natural heritage and are a necessary tool for researchers in natural sciences.


Collections of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales have their origin in the Real Gabinete de Historia Natural (Royal Cabinet of Natural History), founded in 1771 by Carlos III. Currently the MNCN collections include more than 6 million specimens. Consequently the Museum is considered one of the reference centers for the study of Iberian and circum-Mediterranean fauna. Collections also include a large representation of specimens from other biogeographic regions, among which we emphasize the materials gathered along the scientific expeditions made by our naturalists along the XVIII and XIX centuries.


These historical holdings are the basis of the collections, but collections are constantly growing as the ongoing scientific research keeps providing new specimens and materials. These modern collections are useful for a wide spectrum of additional scientific areas, including the new developments on molecular techniques for Systematics and Evolutionary Sciences. Our collection of type specimens, the specimens on which description of new species are based, is particularly relevant.


The Collection's department is devoted to curatorial and management activities of the MNCN holdings, but their staff is also involved in different research activities including documentation of historical holdings, conservation techniques, taxonomy...








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Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y UniversidadesConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

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