The collections of the SMNS are based on the Kunst- and Naturalienkabinett of the dukes of Württemberg. In 1791, the Naturalienkabinett—the State Museum of Natural History today—became an independent institution. Since the early 19th century the collections serve as a basis for research and exhibitions and get extended purposefully. Today, our collections contain about 12 million objects/series from botany, zoology, paleontology, mineralogy and geology and are of international importance.
As archives of nature, the collections are the essential resource for research and knowledge transfer. Most objects are linked to numerous data, are being increasingly recorded in databases, and are at least partially available online.
Digital collection development and integration in large databases like GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) enables analysis of large data sets in collaboration with other research facilities as well as the ability to deal with overarching regional research questions. The collections are available for all scientists to tackle their research questions. Objects can be examined in the local workspace or can be loaned after prior consultation with the respective curator. Type material usually is not be loaned. There is the possibility of digital image transmission. For further information, please contact the respective scientist in charge.
By virtue of the Act on the Protection of Cultural Property, the collections have been national cultural property since August 6th 2016 and are thus subject to special protection.