Preservation of private scientific collections

Many amateurs build up highly professional private scientific collections over years or decades. They usually focus on and specialize in certain animal or plant groups, certain regions or deposits. One of the core tasks of the SNSB institutions is to acquire such high-quality, excellently prepared and well-documented private collections and to make them permanently available and usable for research. They are acquired through (often tax-privileged) donations, bequests or purchases.

In the Bavarian State Collection for Zoology (SNSB-ZSM) these acquisitions even exceed the collection build-up by collections of the ZSM employees many times over. In the field of entomology alone, about 1.000 collections with well over 5 million specimens have been acquired in the last 10 years. Today, modern, digital photographic techniques make it possible to document these private collections in their original state, even when the objects are physically integrated into the corresponding main collections.