22 August 2022

The mystery of the type collections

new film

Behind the scenes of natural history museums, large rooms house thousands of specimens that are not on display. Some of these specimens have a special status: they have red labels attached to them. These so-called 'type specimens’ are some of the most precious and valuable specimens in the collections.

Type Collection

They are off-limits to anyone but experts with special permission. Yet, paradoxically, type specimens are not necessarily typical of the species they belong to. In fact, a type specimen can be no more than a broken tooth, or a discolored fragment of a plant. So what exactly makes these red-labeled specimens so special? Enter the mystery of type specimens You can watch the film here.

The film was made in cooperation with the department of Science education. Thanks to all who took part in the production: Joeri Witteveen, Peter Rask Møller, Tom Schiøtte, Mikkel Høgh Post, Pete Hosner and Nikolaj Scharf.