Collections come to the museum from different sources. One source is collection, i.e., as part of research projects of the museum or in collaboration with other research centres, samples are collected and, after being studied, go to increasing the collections. Another source is the donation of natural science collections from private individuals, schools, teaching and research institutions, and other sources. On occasion, new collections are acquired by purchasing, as in the case of minerals or seeds. Collections may also arrive via legacies or deposits.
The Museum then becomes the recipient of these collections and takes on the commitment to ensure their conservation and correct use in research and outreach. When these collections reach the museum, they are prepared for conservation (desiccated animals, entomological boxes, herbarium sheets, mineral collections, etc.) and are recorded and documented (place and date of collection, name of collector, previous owners, published works, etc.). All these data are very important for giving scientific value to each of the specimens. The data on the specimens form part of databases that can be consulted.
Policy on the acquisition of collections
The mission of the Natural Sciences Museum of Barcelona is to generate and share knowledge on the diversity and evolution of the natural world, with the aim of contributing to its conservation and creating a more informed society that is more closely linked to nature and responsible for it. This mission is carried out by preserving collections that are a witness to the natural heritage of Catalonia and its surroundings, research of biological and geological diversity, and experiments that stimulate exploration, learning, appreciation, enjoyment, dialogue and participation by as broad a public as possible (strategic plan).
The Museum is the heir to over a century of naturalist scientific tradition dedicated to documenting and interpreting the natural world, and is particularly concerned with the biodiversity crisis and involved in local and international efforts to study, document and conserve natural diversity. The museum conserves a scientific collection that is a permanent record of our natural heritage and of the research carried out in it (strategic plan).
This document contains the general lines that will govern the growth of the patrimony of collections of the museum over the next five years.