About

The Museum is committed to open access and open science, and has launched the Data Portal to make its research and collections datasets available online. It allows anyone to explore, download and reuse the data for their own research.

Museum collection

Our natural history collection is one of the most important in the world, documenting 4.5 billion years of life, the Earth and the solar system. Almost all animal, plant, mineral and fossil groups are represented.

The portal's main dataset consists of specimens from the Museum's collection database, with 3,508,779 records from the Museum’s Zoology, Entomology, Botany, Palaeontology and Mineralogy collections.

We also have 3,508,779 species-level (index lot) records, which denote the presence of a taxon in the Museum collection.

These datasets will increase exponentially. Under the Museum's ambitious digital collections programme we aim to have 20 million specimens digitised in the next five years.

More about our collections

Research datasets

The Museum has over 600 curators, researchers, scientific associates, students and volunteers. Our scientists publish circa 1,000 scientific papers annually and datasets from these publications will be available through the portal.

Help us improve our collection

Digitising and databasing our vast collections is a huge and evolving task. As a result some records in the Data Portal may contain erroneous data. If you find a record that needs correcting, please tell us at data@nhm.ac.uk, or use the feedback mechanism embedded on the page.