Natural History Museum of Denmark

The Natural History Museum of Denmark (Danish: Statens Naturhistoriske Museum) is a natural history museum located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was created as a 1 January 2004 merger of Copenhagen's Zoological Museum, Geological Museum, Botanical Museum and Central Library, and Botanical Gardens.[1] It is affiliated with the University of Copenhagen.

Natural History Museum of Denmark
Statens Naturhistoriske Museum
Natura History Museum, Geological Museum Building
LocationGothersgade 130, 1123 Copenhagen, Denmark
Coordinates55.685327°N 12.572781°E / 55.685327; 12.572781
TypeNatural History Museum
DirectorPeter C. Kjærgaard


The Natural History Museum of Denmark was established on 1 January 2004 by the merging of four long-standing institutions: the Botanical Garden, the Botanical Museum & Central Library, the Geological Museum, and the Zoological Museum.

The history of the individual departments, which now are part of the united Natural History Museum of Denmark, can be traced back to the 17th century. One historical figure in particular played a crucial role in the creation of our national heritage, namely Ole Worm (1588–1654).

His cabinet of natural curiosities, the Museum Wormianum, formed together with the Royal Danish Cabinet of Curiosities the nucleus of what later would become 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 introduced a large variety of medicinal plants and rare species from abroad.

Today the Natural History Museum of Denmark is organized under the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen.


The collections are collected over four centuries. The 14 million objects include skins and hides, skeletons, animals in jars with alcohol, insects on pins, plants on herbarium sheets, fossils, minerals, meteorites and more, from all over the world. Additionally, the living collections of the Botanical Garden number some 10,000 plant species such as orchids, cacti, carnivorous plants and exotic trees.

The collections form the foundations of the museum’s research, teaching and outreach efforts, and for a wide range of international research. As well as being a research tool and outreach resource, the collections are also a link to our cultural heritage: many objects exemplify a preservation technique of a specific era, have inspired classic works of art or tell a story of the era in which they were collected.


Today, all exhibitions and public engagement programs at the Natural History Museum of Denmark are located at the Geological Museum, the Zoological Museum and in the Botanical Garden.

In 2022, all of the Zoological Museum’s collections, exhibitions and research will have relocated to a new natural history museum in the Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden, as well as the current premises of the Geological Museum, will be part of the new natural history museum.

New museum

In 2022, the Botanical Garden in Copenhagen will house a new national museum of natural history.


  • 2004–2007: Henrik Enghoff
  • 2007–2014: Morten Meldgaard
  • 2015: Kurt H. Kjær (interim)
  • 2015: Peter C. Kjærgaard


  1. "University of Copenhagen to become a campus university". University of Copenhagen. 27 April 2006. Archived from the original on 29 July 2007. Retrieved 29 February 2012.

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