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Collections

The Museum of Evolution protects and displays Uppsala University's natural history collections – fossils, minerals, animals, and plants.

The material is available not only to researchers who come from near and far, but also to all our visitors for inspiration and education.

Botany collections

The botany collections of the Museum of Evolution date from 1785, when Carl Peter Thunberg was appointed as professor at Uppsala university. Together with Joachim Burser's Hortus Siccus, the extensive collections made by Thunberg from South Africa, Ceylon, Java and Japan form some of the most important parts of our collections.

Our collections now consist of some 3.1 million specimens (1,920,000 vascular plants, 250,000 bryophytes, 80,000 algae, 360,000 fungi and 510,000 lichens).

Important collectors: Joachim Burser, Olov Celsius, Carl Petter Thunberg, Erik Acharius, Göran Wahlenberg, Elias Fries, Thore Magnus Fries, Robert Fries, Thore C.E. Fries, F.R. Kjellman, H.W. Arnell, C. Skottsberg, Harry Smith, S. Arnell, J.A. Nannfeldt, Carl G. Alm, Seth Lundell, A.H. Magnusson, Gunnar Degelius, Rolf Santesson, Olle Mårtensson, Lennart & Kerstin Holm and Olov Hedberg.

Flora Uplandica, Olof Celsius' plant collection

Mineralogy collections

The mineral collections housed in the Museum of Evolution date from 1750, when the first professor in chemistry Johann Gottschalk Wallerius was installed at Uppsala university. The mineralogy in Sweden during the 18th century was prominent and several important treatises were published by renowned and pioneering mineralogists/chymists such as Bromell (1730), Wallerius (1747), Cronstedt (1758), Linnaeus (1768) and Bergman (1782). The Uppsala collections are rich in material directly or indirectly connected to these men.

The collections comprise somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000 specimens, of which approximately 30,000 were catalogued in the 1920’s when the mineral collection was arranged according to the then modern systematics of Dana. The remainder consists of a mix of older and later collections of minerals, rocks and meteorites. Presently the mineralogical collections are subject to reorganization after the older catalogues, to emphasize the historical importance of the collections.

There is also a small collection of crystal models made by Tidström assumed to be the oldest in existence, thus predating models after Werner, Romé de l’Isle and Haüy.

Important collections: Magnus Bromell, Anton von Svab, Anders Philip Tidström, Torbern Bergman, Johan Afzelius, King Adolf Fredrik and Queen Lovisa Ulrika, King Gustav III, Erik Thomas Svedenstjerna, Royal Society of Sciences.

Palaeontology collections

The palaeontology collections contain fossils of plants vertebrates, invertebrates and from all over the world. Our large collection of Chinese fossils include animals from the Hipparion fauna and dinosaurs, among them the only known specimen of the sauropod Euhelopus zdanskyi. We have the largest collection of dinosaur skeletons in Scandinavia.

Important collections: Magnus Bromell, Carl Wiman, Otto Zdansky, Charles Sternberg.

Zoology collections

Catalogue of type specimens

Download catalogues of the type material in the zoology collections (pdf files)

Search our databases
Chamaeleon cranium
Research loans

Researchers may borrow museum specimens for scientific purposes.

Canine of Peking Man

A new tooth of Peking Man, Homo erectus, was discovered in a crate of Chinese fossils at the Museum of Evolution.