Guide to collections

Natural Science Museum of Barcelona

Name Natural Science Museum of Barcelona
Acronym(s) MCNB
Institution type Botanic garden, Herbarium, Museum
Description The collections at the Natural History Museum of Barcelona and the Barcelona Botanical Institute comprise approximately 5 million natural history specimens, including plants, fungi, animals, sound recordings, fossils, minerals and rocks. These samples have been collected and preserved over the last three centuries thanks to naturalists and collectors, institutions and private individuals and due to the ongoing hard work and the commitment of Museum staff to advance our understanding of biology and geological history.

The collections provide an excellent cross-section of the flora, fauna and geology of Catalonia and surrounding areas, especially the western Mediterranean, and also include fascinating specimens from other regions of the world.

Some of these collections are historically significant because they contain samples that date back to the 17th and 19th centuries, such as those in the Natural History Collection of the Salvador Family (the oldest collection in Catalonia) that are on display at the Barcelona Botanical Institute.

Other collections are of special scientific relevance and are essential for systematic and taxonomic research: these are the gold-standard collections in the different branches of the natural sciences. They bring together a wide diversity of species from Catalonia and abroad, and have many type specimens that have been used to describe new species. The great reference works on Catalan flora, fauna and geology are largely based on the samples in these collections.

› The zoology collections (non-arthropod invertebrates, arthropods and chordata) are consulted year round by biologists, paleontologists and physicians conducting national and international research. The main research lines are the study and monitoring of biodiversity, evolution, eco-ethology and ecology. Recent developments with significant scientific potential are the Tissue Bank, which conserves samples of zoological collections suitable for extracting genetic material, and the Nature Sound Library, which contains recordings of the sounds of nature.

› The geological collections (mineralogy and petrology) cover a considerable range of geodiversity and represent much of the history of geology in Catalonia (the Vidal and Barcelona Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences collections, the Geological Map of the "Mancomunitat de Catalunya", etc.). One area currently receiving special attention is the mineralogical collection of microassemblies, intended to become a basic systematic geographic reference.

› The paleontology collections (vertebrates, invertebrates and paleobotany) include excellent samples of Catalonia's main deposits. They also contain notable elements from Europe and the rest of the world. They are the perfect link to the zoological and botanical collections as they allow us to follow the thread of evolution and illustrate the great changes that biodiversity has undergone since life began on the planet.

› The collections of live plants and seeds at the Botanical Gardens of Barcelona have been developed to conserve the biodiversity of Catalonia and other territories that have a Mediterranean climate. The aim of plant genetic conservation is to cultivate and reintroduce threatened species. The collections reflect the many years' work of conserving threatened flora. The seed bank participates in several international conservation programmes and cooperates with 15 centres in the Mediterranean area.

› The herbarium collections at the Barcelona Botanical Institute are an international reference to study climate change, the evolution of flora, invasion by new species and the decline of native flora in the face of changing land use and degradation linked to climate change. These collections outline the process of learning about the plant world over time. The herbarium takes part in national and international studies on phytodiversity.
Address Pg. Picasso, s/n
Postal code 08003
City Barcelona
State/region Catalunya
Country Spain
Telephone +34 93 256 22 00
Fax +34 93 310 49 99
institutions Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Documentation Center
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Media library
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Music library
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Chordates Department
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Publications Department
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Non-Arthropod Invertebrates Department
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Arthropods Department
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Activities Department
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Exhibitions Department
Botanical Garden of Barcelona-
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Research Department
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Communication Department
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Petrology Department
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Paleontology Department
Natural Science Museum of Barcelona- Mineralogy Department
Collections 3D images of natural history collections
Associated person Jordi Agulló (Collections Manager)
Josep Aurell (Documentalist)
Karina Barros (Librarian at the IBB (CSIC))
Berta Caballero (Curator)
Carles Curto (Curator)
Yael Díaz-Acha (Curator)
Sergi Gago (Documentalist)
Jaume Gallemí (Curator)
Eulàlia Garcia Franquesa (Head of Collections)
Neus Ibáñez (Curator of the Herbarium (IBB-BC))
Irene Lobato-Vila (Curator)
Glòria Masó (Curator)
Josep Mª Montserrat (Director of the Botanical Garden of Barcelona)
Anna Omedes (Director)
Josep Piqué (Technican)
Javier Quesada (Curator)
Francesc Uribe (Curator)
Vicent Vicedo (Curator)
Maria Vila (Laboratory of Preventive Conservation and Restoration)