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Hungarian Natural History Museum

Hungarian Natural History Museum

Collections & Expertise

The natural history collections of HU-TAF have global significance. It is one of the largest natural history collections among the Central and Eastern European institutions, comprising more than ten million natural history items, including 44,110 primary types. They have value at a European level as they hold the most important reference and historical collections for the whole of the Carpathian Basin, the Balkans, Central and Eastern Asia, which is regularly accessed by visiting international researchers.

In addition, HU-TAF holds important historical collections; many of them are 200–300 years old. They provide ecological and genetic reference data for comparison with more recent material. The best represented areas are the Palaearctic, Oriental and Ethiopian biogeographic regions and in case of soil animals also the tropical part of America.

Department Collection highlights and staff expertise
Botany Botanical reference collections representing the Carpathian Basin (Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and W. UkraineFauna and flora of the Balkan countries and Asia Minor


Gymnosperm collection (worldwide)

Cryoculture collection of macrofungi (C Europe)

Taxonomy and phytogeography of gymnosperms; Tertiary plant taxonomy and palaeoecology


Ca 1.5 million specimens from Mongolia (esp. significant Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera) the most important references collection for Inner AsiaLargest reference collection of insects from the Korean Peninsula (esp. significant Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Heteroptera)

L.Gozmány’s reference collection of Tineidae & Gelechioidea (Lepidoptera, Old World)

H.Sauter and recent Diptera material from Taiwan and SE. Asia

Lepidoptera (esp. Noctuidae and Thyatiridae), Diptera, Coleoptera and Chiroptera collections from the wide sense Himalayan-Pacific region (from Pakistan to Vietnam, Taiwan)

Taxonomy and zoogeography of Palaearctic & Oriental Lepidoptera (Noctuidae, Thyatiridae, Lycaenidae)

Type collections of K. Kertész (Diptera, esp. Old World), G. Horváth (Heteroptera & Homoptera, Palaearctic, Oriental), W. Treitschke & F. Ochsenheimer (Lepidoptera, W Palaearctic), L. Bíró (New Guinea, insects), H. Steinmann (Dermaptera), E. Reitter & Z. Kaszab (Palaearctic Coleoptera, esp. Tenebrionidae, Meloidae), Gy. Szépligeti, J. Erdős and S. Mocsáry (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonoidea, Chalcidoidea)

Important Nematoda (A. Andrássy) and earthworm (A. Zicsi) type collection worldwide

Orbatida type collections of J. Balogh & S. Mahunka (worldwide)

Flora and fauna for entire Carpathian Basin (as a biogeographic unit having strong connections to the Balkans)


Soil mineralogy and micromorphologyMeteorite collections, consisting of 659 items

Metamorphic petrology and geochronology

Palaeontology and anthropology

Human remains of 30,000 historical people, the most important collection for central and eastern EuropeRecent mummy collection with detailed personal data

Palaeontological reference collections representing the Carpathian Basin (Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and W. Ukraine

Facial reconstruction

Pathology of historic people

Fossil and recent bat collections especially rich in SE Asian material.

Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous molluscs and brachiopods

Quarternary vertebrates (including collections of Kormos, Kretzoi, and Jánossy)

Zoology Zoological reference collections representing the Carpathian Basin (Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and W. Ukraine)Type collections by Tömösváry (SE Asian myriapods), by J. Daday (SE Asian & African Crustaceans and Paradoxosomatidae


Taxonomy and biogeography of earthworms neo- and Afrotropics)

Library More than 300,000 volumes<One of the most important archives for natural historians in Central and Eastern Europe

Analytical Facilities

Scanning electron microscope and a very well-equipped DNA laboratory with an up-to-date technology, enabling scientists to use molecular biological methods in taxonomy, phylogeography and population genetics. A special feature of this laboratory that separate laboratory space is devoted to ArcheDNA preparations where palaeontological and archeological samples can also be handled safely

Fully equipped Nikon Eclipse E600 light microscopes, digital camera; HITACHI S-2600N scanning electron microscope.

For a full list of the equipment that Users can apply to use, click here.

Information Technology and Access

Users may bring their own laptop or access to a PC will be provided upon request. Internet access can be arranged in many of the collection areas.

Institution info

Budapest, Hungary


Institution info

Budapest, Hungary