The Estonian Museum of Natural History’s specimens have been collected over the span of about 200 years. Today, the museum’s collections have approximately 330,000 items, each of which holds unique evidence of a species or event that existed at a particular time and place. Most of the collections are available in digital form on the eElurikkus and Estonian geocollections.
These collections provide an opportunity to study processes in nature in the past, the present and even predict the future. For example, the information contained in the collections can be used to study the effects of climate change on species, the spread of toxins or the loss of biodiversity; exhibitions and nature education programs based on specimens from the collections help to shape a more environmentally friendly attitude. All the collections at the Natural History Museum are aimed at improving knowledge and a more sustainable way of life.
The collections are based on the natural history collection of the Estonian Provincial Museum established in 1864. This evolved into the Estonian SSR State Museum of Natural History in 1941, which has now become the Estonian Museum of Natural History.
Ensuring good preservation and research conditions has been helped by the European Regional Development Fund’s financing of the project of the sub-measure “Support for research infrastructure of national importance” of the priority axis “Increasing the competitiveness of Estonian research and development through supporting research programs, higher education institutions and research institutions” as well as the Environmental Investment Centre.