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Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Naturalis) was formally established in 2010 as a merger of several institutions whose history date back to the 19th century: the National Museum of Natural History (NNM 1820), the National Herbarium of the Netherlands (NHN, established in 1999 and consisting of the Leiden University branch 1829; Utrecht University branch 1816, and Wageningen University branch 1896) and the Zoological Museum Amsterdam (ZMA 1838), that was part of the University of Amsterdam.

Naturalis is the national institute when it comes to describing, understanding and exploring biodiversity in the Netherlands. The institute manages the Dutch natural history collection consisting of 37 million specimens, which makes it one of the largest and most important resources for biodiversity research in the world. Some parts of the collection were made by individuals, universities, and scientific associations as early as the16th century.

In collaboration with Dutch and international research groups, our 100+ researchers, our honorary research associates and many amateur scientists aim to understand and preserve life and biodiversity, and look for societal and economic applications. The museum presents the evolutionary history and diversity of life on planet Earth.

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