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Hungarian Natural History Museum (HNHM)

Collections & Expertise

The natural history collections of HU-TAF have global significance. It is one of the largest natural history collections among the Central and Eastern European institutions, comprising more than ten million natural history items, including 44,110 primary types. They have value at a European level as they hold the most important reference and historical collections for the whole of the Carpathian Basin, the Balkans, Central and Eastern Asia, which is regularly accessed by visiting international researchers.

In addition, HU-TAF holds important historical collections; many of them are 200–300 years old. They provide ecological and genetic reference data for comparison with more recent material. The best represented areas are the Palaearctic, Oriental and Ethiopian biogeographic regions and in case of soil animals also the tropical part of America.

Department Collection highlights and staff expertise
Botany Botanical reference collections representing the Carpathian Basin (Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and W. Ukraine
Fauna and flora of the Balkan countries and Asia Minor
Gymnosperm collection (worldwide)
Cryoculture collection of macrofungi (C Europe)
Taxonomy and phytogeography of gymnosperms; Tertiary plant taxonomy and palaeoecology
Entomology Ca 1.5 million specimens from Mongolia (esp. significant Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera) the most important references collection for Inner Asia
Largest reference collection of insects from the Korean Peninsula (esp. significant Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Heteroptera)
Largest reference collection of insects from the Korean Peninsula (esp. significant Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Heteroptera)
L.Gozmány's reference collection of Tineidae & Gelechioidea (Lepidoptera, Old World)
H.Sauter and recent Diptera material from Taiwan and SE. Asia
Lepidoptera (esp. Noctuidae and Thyatiridae), Diptera, Coleoptera and Chiroptera collections from the wide sense Himalayan-Pacific region (from Pakistan to Vietnam, Taiwan)
Taxonomy and zoogeography of Palaearctic & Oriental Lepidoptera (Noctuidae, Thyatiridae, Lycaenidae)
Type collections of K. Kertész (Diptera, esp. Old World), G. Horváth (Heteroptera & Homoptera, Palaearctic, Oriental), W. Treitschke & F. Ochsenheimer (Lepidoptera, W Palaearctic), L. Bíró (New Guinea, insects), H. Steinmann (Dermaptera), E. Reitter & Z. Kaszab (Palaearctic Coleoptera, esp. Tenebrionidae, Meloidae), Gy. Szépligeti, J. Erdős and S. Mocsáry (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonoidea, Chalcidoidea)
Important Nematoda (A. Andrássy) and earthworm (A. Zicsi) type collection worldwide
Orbatida type collections of J. Balogh & S. Mahunka (worldwide)
Flora and fauna for entire Carpathian Basin (as a biogeographic unit having strong connections to the Balkans)
Geology Soil mineralogy and micromorphology
Meteorite collections, consisting of 659 items
Metamorphic petrology and geochronology
Palaeontology and anthropology Human remains of 30,000 historical people, the most important collection for central and eastern Europe
Recent mummy collection with detailed personal data
Palaeontological reference collections representing the Carpathian Basin (Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and W. Ukraine
Facial reconstruction
Pathology of historic people
Fossil and recent bat collections especially rich in SE Asian material.
Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous molluscs and brachiopods
Quarternary vertebrates (including collections of Kormos, Kretzoi, and Jánossy)
Zoology Zoological reference collections representing the Carpathian Basin (Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and W. Ukraine)
Type collections by Tömösváry (SE Asian myriapods), by J. Daday (SE Asian & African Crustaceans and Paradoxosomatidae
Taxonomy and biogeography of earthworms neo- and Afrotropics)
Library More than 300,000 volumes
One of the most important archives for natural historians in Central and Eastern Europe

Analytical Facilities

Scanning electron microscope and a very well-equipped DNA laboratory with an up-to-date technology, enabling scientists to use molecular biological methods in taxonomy, phylogeography and population genetics. A special feature of this laboratory that separate laboratory space is devoted to ArcheDNA preparations where palaeontological and archeological samples can also be handled safely

Fully equipped Nikon Eclipse E600 light microscopes, digital camera; HITACHI S-2600N scanning electron microscope.

Information Technology and Access

Users may bring their own laptop or access to a PC will be provided upon request. Internet access can be arranged in many of the collection areas.