Scientific collections are nature's memory
– Archivers of the past, the present and the future, for us and for future generations
The collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History, Luomus, comprise animal, plant, fungal, mineral and fossil samples. In all, the collections of Luomus make up over 50 percent of all natural history collections in Finland. The collection holds over 13 million samples.
The collections are primarily used for taxonomic and systematic research, in Finland and internationally. Additionally, the collections are significant for students in these fields, and for monitoring studies of Finnish environments.
The three public attractions of Luomus are built around these collections. Combined with research data, they support teaching of environmental awareness and offer experiences, information and potential for new insights.
In addition to the scientific specimen collections, Luomus accumulates and maintains databases on topics such as bird ringing and the distribution of plant species.
Luomus' zoological collection is the largest scientific collection of animal specimens in Finland. It consists of approximately nine million specimens and sample lots. The foundation of the zoological museum collection was laid by the donation of the collection of the Societas pro Fauna et Flora Fennica to the University of Helsinki (the Imperial Alexander University) in 1858. Today the collection is supplemented primarily by materials from research projects and expeditions and by donations.
Currently, the botanical and mycological collections of Luomus hold approximately 3.3 million plant and fungal specimens. Over the last years the annual growth of the collections has been 20 000 samples on average. The growth comes from donations, research materials and samples exchaged with other herbaria. The international herbarium code for the museum is H.
The national geological collection holds approximately 50 000 mineral and rock samples, about 600 meteorites and about 44 000 fossil, bone and soil samples. The specialities of this collection, which originates in the 18th century, are, for example, Finnish jewels and meteorites, the oldest rock specimens in Europe, the Antarctica collection, the mammoth collection and fossils from Åland.