History of the museum – University of Copenhagen

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History 

The Natural History Museum of Denmark is organized as a department under the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen. The museum was established in 2004 in connection with a merger of the Zoological Museum, the Geological Museum, the Botanical Museum and the Botanical Garden. Although the Natural History Museum of Denmark is a relatively new organization, the museum's roots history can be traced back to the 17th century.

Particularly physician Ole Worm (1588-1654) played a key role in the creation of the nation's natural history heritage. In the early years of the 17th century Worm created the Museum Wormianum, which consisted mainly of a wide-ranging collection of natural specimens: stuffed animals, dried plants and rocks and minerals from all over the world. It wasn't just Denmark's first museum, but one of the first museums anywhere in the world. Museum Wormanium formed together with the Royal. Kunstkammer the nucleus of what later became the Geological Museum and the Zoological Museum.

In 1621 Ole Worm also became the director of the Botanical Garden, which at that time had been quite neglected. Here he established a large variety of medicinal plants as well as introducing rare species from abroad.

On this page you can find many stories about the development of the Botanical Garden through time, the establishment of the first scientific, natural history collections in Denmark, and the changing practices at the Geological Museum, the Zoological Museum and the Botanical Garden's Museum. Click on the boxes to the right.