Gallery at Kalemegdan Press Clippings Photo Gallery Events This Year Bulletin

The Mycological Collection

The Mycological Collection of Natural History Museum was established in 1895, and with 25.000 specimens it is the largest in Serbia. It includes dried specimens (exicates) of mushrooms and other fungi collected during more than 100 years. The best represented fungi are those growing in Serbia, but the Collection also includes specimens from all over Balkans and many other parts of the world. The fungi collected in XIX century by Velislav Vojinović and Nikola Ranojević were the first specimens in Serbia collected for scientific purposes, and since then the Collection has been continuously enriched with new material. Most specimens, including several species discovered and described for the first time, were collected by Vojteh Lindtner, famous mycologist who worked at the Natural History Museum for many years. This Collection has a large museological and scientific value, not just due to scope and age, but primarily as it represents the central database necessary for studies on presence, diversity, distribution and characteristics of fungi, as well as their threat status.

Lichen Collection

This collection includes specimens of lichens collected in the area of Balkans, but also Sweden, Kenya and Antarctica from late XIX century until the present day. In order to provide them a permanent conservation, after the treatment lichen specimens are placed into special paper envelopes, of which the Collection includes 9000. Besides the museological, this Collection also has a scientific importance, as it represents the most important reference in studying lichen diversity in Serbia. This fact is supported by science papers based on data from this Collection. It is also essential for the comparative analysis of changes of community and distribution of lichens in time and space.

General Herbarium Of The Balkan Peninsula

With over half a million specimens, the General herbarium of Balkan Peninsula is one of the richest and most valuable collections in Natural History Museum. It has a rightful name, not only due to the number of specimens collected over more than 100 years, but also due to the important biogeographical area it covers. The establishment of Museum in 1895 is also considered the start of Herbarium, but about 270 specimens originated even earlier. Josif Pančić (1814-1888), the founding father of Serbian botany, started the plant collecting in Serbia about half a century before the establishment of the Museum. One smaller part of that collection, taken from the Great School, was a beginning of what the General Herbarium of Balkan Peninsula represents today. The herbarium specimens testify on richness, diversity, complexity, history and changes in flora of Balkans, while the Herbarium represents one sort of database on plant life of this area. Although each specimen has its own scientific and cultural value, the most precious are the holotypes, as well as the representatives of endemic, relict and rare plants. The Herbarium is a source of information for numerous scientific papers, monographs, catalogues, Masters’ and Doctors’ Theses in the fields of floristics, taxonomy, phytogeography, phytocenology and applied biological sciences. It was the base for preparing the ten-tome edition Flora of SR Serbia (1970-1986) and is particularly important for preparing the new multi-tome expanded edition of Flora of Serbia. The Herbarium maintains its role in field of culture and education through plant specimens being shown at exhibitions with botanic or biological theme.

Collection Of The Nature Monuments of Belgrade

The Collection of Nature Monuments in Belgrade, Beo 600.581.502.7, was established on July 9th 1999, at the initiative of Senior Curator M.S. Mila Karas, as a study collection of the Natural History Museum. This is a specific collection of ex situ objects collected primarily on trees from Belgrade which were protected as natural assets – Nature monuments, as well as data and in situ objects pertaining to them. It contains 2000 objects, 840 classical and 2000 digital photographs. Besides the objects and records of protected trees, the Collection also includes herbarium samples and photographs of old and rare trees from the territory of Belgrade which are not included in legal protection. Collecting these objects, photographing and museum preparation are directed toward conservation of old and rare specimens of various woody species present in the area of Belgrade. According to this research proposals are made for their protection, as well as for popularization of Belgrade dendroflora in educational target groups, media and public.
All the activities on Collection of Nature Monuments of Belgrade are interdisciplinary in character, with a broader social interest. One peculiarity of this collection is that all objects and data from natural assets in situ turn into the cultural assets ex situ without damage or destruction. The results of work on this Collection are used in museological, scientific, culturological and educational work. The Collection includes the additional documentation material, which is a result of large-scale research by the curator Mila Karas, in field, in documentation archives and the bibliographic material. These studies were used to prepare an immense additional museological documentation and publish a certain number of expert and scientific papers in the period 2003-2008.

Collection Of Fruits

This collection was established in 2005, through realization of project “Collection of fruits - autochthonous and cultivated fruit of Rudnik-Takovo region”. By 2008 over 900 herbarium specimens of cultivated fruit of Šumadija region (parts of branches, leaf, flower, and undeveloped fruit) were collected and the database of photodocumentation of characteristic fruit (with over 400 photographs) was formed. This collection unites the concepts of natural, cultural, material and untangible heritage into the preventive protection of old fruit species of Šumadija and Serbia. The Collection was established with support by Ministry of Agriculture of Republic of Serbia, with the goal of preventative conservation and protection of characteristic species of wild and cultivated fruit of Šumadija and Serbia, in situ and ex situ. The Collection has a scientific importance as a database on diversity of autochthonous and introduced fruit, including the concept of conservation of genetic resources of fruit flora, which is being destroyed by urbanization and invasive development of agriculture. The study of representation, distribution and commonness of fruit species in certain communities and certain substrates leads to the ecological importants of the Collection Of Fruits.

Collection Of Weeds

The Collection of weeds was established in 2005 and represents an attempt to valorize all the present scientific and expert knowledge of the weed plants. It was collected during the field studies. The plant material is mostly from Serbia. The Collection has been increasing every year with new plant species, so it is expected that it will soon represent the whole weed flora of Serbia. It includes over 540 completely museologically processed herbarium sheets. The Collection of Weeds has a great expert, scientific and practical importance as these species spread fast and cover large surfaces, squeezing out the threatened autochthonous plant species. The damage posed by weed plants on humans and their activities are large-scale, numerous and diverse. However, as weeds are present in large ranges, common and abundant, it is completely acceptable to consider the possibility of their use by humans. The weed plants might have some very diverse uses.

Collection Of Arthropods (without Insects)

Collection of arthropods (Arthropoda) was established in 1895 and includes over 28.000 specimens. It is composed of several smaller collections: scorpions (Scorpiones), spiders (Aranea), harvestmen (Opiliones), crustaceans (Crustacea), isopods (Isopoda) and myriapods (Myriapoda). The spider collection is one of the oldest in the Natural History Museum and it was established by the first curator-zoologist, Dušan Stojićević. One of the larger collections in this group is composed of millipedes collected by curator Velika Jovanović in the period 1952-1969. Arthropods (Arthropoda) are the most numerous and most diverse group of modern animal world, also including insects (Insecta). The common characteristic of all arthropods is the body divided into a smaller or larger number of segments with, as a rule, one pair of legs on each.

Entomological Collection

The Entomological Collection, which includes all groups of insects from all parts of the world, with over 450.000 specimens, is one of the richest and museologically best processed collections at Natural History Museum. Since the establishment in 1895, although at uneven rate, the collection is steadily increasing, primarily due to curators’ activities but also due to donations of entomologists both from this country and from abroad. There is also the precious contribution by numerous friends who took various journeys. Although these are usually just single insects, they are often from exotic regions. The whole fund includes 51 collections: General collection of insects, Collection of insects by Petar Novak, Collection of insects by Institute for Conservation of Plants, the Historical collection of Odonata, Collection of Odonata by Živko Adamović, General collection of Odonata, General collection of Orthoptera, Collection of Orthoptera by Borivoj Lazarević, Collection of Homoptera, Collection of Homoptera: Auchenorhyncha by Ljubodrag Janković, Initial collection of Heteroptera, Collection of Heteroptera by Nikola Kormiljev, the Study collection of Heteroptera, Collection of Heteroptera on cultivated plants, Collection of Thysanoptera on cultivated plants, Study collection of Thysanoptera, Donated Collection of Thysanoptera by Gabor Jenser, Collection of Thysanoptera by Richard zur Strassen, Collection of Neuroptera, Collection of Coleoptera by Nedeljko Košanin, General collection of Coleoptera, Collection of Coleoptera: Cicindelidae, Collection of Coleoptera: Cerambycidae, Collection of Coleoptera: Scarabeidae, Collection of Coleoptera by Ljubodrag Janković, Collection of Coleoptera from the vicinity of Skopje by S. Vojinović, Collection of Coleoptera by Stjepan Svirčev, Collection of Coleoptera by Jovan Stančić, Collection of Coleoptera by Guido Nonveiller, Collection of Lepidoptera by Miloš Rogulja, General collection of Rhopalocera, Collection of Rhopalocera from Durmitor by Predrag Jakšić, General collection of Heterocera, Collection of butterflies by Archibald Reiss, Collection of butterflies by Boško Salamon, Collection of butterflies by Ivo Toševski, Collection of butterflies of India by Andraš Galac, Collection of African butterflies, Collection of butterflies of South America, Collection of Diptera, Collection of Diptera : Tipuloidea, Collection of Diptera: Asilidae, Collection of Diptera: Syrphidae by Slobodan Glumac, Collection of Diptera: Syrphidae by Smiljka Šimić and Ante Vujić, Collection of Diptera: Tachinidae by Pelagija Sisojević, Collection of Diptera: Nycteribia, bat parasites, General collection of Hymenoptera, General collection of Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea, Collection of Hymenoptera: Apidae by Simeun Grozdanić, Collection of Hymenoptera: Apidae by Živomir Vasić, Collection of Hymenoptera: Apoidea by Zoran Mučalica, Herbarium cecidologicum by Duška Simova. The oldest specimens are from the second half of XIX century, while the Collection of Coleoptera by Nedeljko Košanin is one of the oldest. The greatest number of specimens is in the Collections of: dragonflies (Odonata), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), crickets (Homoptera), heteropterans (Heteroptera), thrips (Thysanoptera), flies (Diptera), butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), beetles (Coleoptera) and hymenopterans (Hymenoptera). The entomological boxes are used to store the specimens of thousands of species, from those known to everybody to the particularly rare ones which would be welcomed into their collection by every museum in the world. The Entomological Collection of Natural History Museum is therefore indispensable for knowing the history of studies on insects and their diversity in the area of Serbia and Balkans. It would be impossible to perform any serious research and studies in fields of taxonomy, faunistics, ecology, biogeography and conservation of insects without the data from Entomological collection of Natural History Museum. Specimens from other continents: Africa, Asia and South America, are particularly interesting for needs of exhibitions.

Collection Of Mollusks

This collection was formed in 1895 and it includes the shells of gastropods and bivalves. Most of the material is from Serbia, and some is from other parts of Southeastern Europe. This collection includes about 70,000 specimens grouped in several smaller units. As one of the initial ones in the museum fund, the most important is the Collection of recent gastropods and bivalves by Petar S. Pavlović, famous scientist and first Director of the Museum. The oldest specimens in this unique collection are from 1889. There is a remarkable scientific value in the type material that includes about 100 systematic units. The greatest number of specimens is in the General collection of mollusks, which is continuously being processed and increased, while the historic value is particularly pronounced in the Collection of mollusks by Lazar Dokić. The Collection also includes the legacies of experts and amateurs who studied a certain group of mollusks (Donated collection of Hydrobioidea by Pavle Radoman, Collection of bivalves by Ante Tadić etc). As a whole, the Collection of mollusks at the Natural History Museum has a great significance in studying biodiversity of this group of animals in the area of Balkans, as observed through the larger time distance.

Study Collection & Exhibition Collection Of Amphibians

This collection includes almost 1000 specimens of recent (modern) representatives of tailed amphibians (Caudata) and tailless amphibians (Anura) from the area of Yugoslav countries. It originated by taking over the collection of Natural Science cabinet of Great School in period 1901-1903. Collection of new specimens in the field started already in the next few years. In the first half of XX century the material from Macedonia was collected with more intensity, particularly during the science-research expeditions in the area of Ohrid Lake, led by Academy Member Milutin Radovanović, Professor of the Belgrade University. During the 1960s, special attention was paid to collecting the specimens of those animal groups that were underrepresented in the Museum collections, and this included the amphibians. Since 1996, number of specimens was tripled, and special attention was given to the species not collected in last thirty years. Particularly important are specimens of the endemic Olm (Proteus anguinus), as well as the paratype for the species new to science, Albanian Water Frog (Rana shqiperica).

Study Collection & Exhibition Collection Of Reptiles

This collection includes about 500 specimens, including both the recent (modern) reptiles of Balkan Peninsula and representatives of exotic fauna of Asia and Australia such as crocodilians, sea turtles, monitor lizards and non-European snakes. The base for the present Collection included the specimens taken from Natural Science Cabinet of Great School in 1901-1903. Although the collecting of new material has started only one year later, it was insufficient and slow until 1996, with a somewhat more significant increase during 1940-ies and 1960-ies. The Academician Milutin Radovanović, Professor of Belgrade University, donated the specimens of snake head skeletons (placed into a separate Osteological Collection in 1932), as well as the material collected in Macedonia, primarily at Ohrid Lake. Some material was also collected for the Collection of Reptiles within the immense studies on natural rarities of Đerdap area, before the erection of the dam. Since 1996, the Collection has doubled, including the particularly important specimens of those species that were not collected for 30 or more years (Mediterranean House Gecko: Hemidactylus turcicus, Meadow Lizard: Darevskia praticola pontica, Viviparous Lizard: Zootoca vivipara). Out of the previously very large and diverse group of reptiles that used to rule the Earth, only 4 basic groups remained until today: the largest one is Squamata (lizards, snakes, worm lizards), followed by crocodilians (Crocodylia) and chelonians (Testudines), while the smallest group is Sphenodontida.

Osteological Collection Of Recent Amphibians & Reptiles

This collection, established in 1985, includes parts of skeleton (bones of head, body and limbs) of modern amphibians and reptiles (salamanders, newts, frogs, chelonians, lizards, snakes). Most of the specimens originated in Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Dalmatia, while a smaller part was from Romania and Africa. Although the Osteological collection is relatively small (including just over 300 specimens) it is representative for this part of Europe (it includes specimens of about 80% of all amphibian and reptile species of Serbia, about 40% of species living in Balkan Peninsula and about 30% of species in Europe). The osteological specimens in this collection are important not only for taxonomical, biogeographical, evolutional and ecological herpetological studies, but they are also the indispensable comparative material, the base for identification of fossilized remains of Tertiary Eurasian and North African extinct amphibians and reptiles.

Osteological Collection by Dr Milutin Radovanović

This collection was established in 1932 as a legacy of Academician Milutin Radovanović (1900-1968), curator of Natural History Museum and for a long time Professor of University in Belgrade. It includes head bones of 67 species of recent (modern) snakes collected at five continents. The oldest specimen is the head skeleton of Javelin Sand Boa, Eryx jaculus, from the island Naxos (Greece) from 1894. This Collection represents the material which M. Radovanović had used in order to prepare his Doctor’s Thesis at Jena (Germany). He chose 76 species for the comparative analysis of anatomic characteristics of snake heads, and presently the Collection includes 67 species. Besides being the scientific proof for checking the results and conclusion in the thesis by M. Radovanović, this collection also has museological, historical and scientific importance, especially for phylogenetic and evolutionary studies on this group of reptiles.

Collection Of Fishes

The Ichthyologic collection, established in 1903, includes about 1000 specimens of marine and freshwater fishes from the area of Yugoslav lands, from Adriatic Sea and Thessaloniki Bay, grouped in three distinct units. The Historical collection includes specimens of fishes conserved in liquid, which were collected in period 1895-1996. Especially valuable are specimens from Thessaloniki Bay (collected in 1895) and those collected from Danube and Sava by Mihajlo Petrović Alas in period 1902-1910. The Study collection also includes specimens in liquid, collected since 1996. Their importance is primarily scientific, as they are the base for studies of ichthyofauna diversity of Serbia and Balkan Peninsula. The collection of exhibition specimens includes taxidermy specimens mostly used for exhibitions but also with museological and scientific importance. Most important are species rarely collected in Adriatic Sea, such as Triggerfish, Atlantic Sturgeon and sharks (Sharpnose Sevengill Shark, Thresher, Roughshark).

Collection Of Birds

Although the Collection was established in 1895, the intensive collecting of specimens had started in 1892. Out of 5,600 specimens, most are from Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, a smaller group is from the other countries of Balkan Peninsula, while the fewest number is from the remote parts of Europe and World (Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America). The influx of specimens through active collecting in the field is minimal in the present time, as the survival of many bird species is more or less threatened and their numbers have decreased. Therefore the activities of the curators are primarily directed to adequate protective conservation of the existing Collection which includes four units: Historical Collection (specimens from the former Natural Science Cabinet of Great School), Study Collection (balgs: birds prepared in a way that enables analysis of morphometric characteristics for the scientific processing), Mounted specimens (taxidermic specimens intended for exhibitions but also used in scientific research), Collection of eggs and nests (primarily of the scientific importance). The Collection of birds at the Natural History Museum is one of the richest in Southeastern Europe and has a significant scientific, museological, cultural, educational and historical importance, as it represents a documented overview of richness, composition, diversity and changes in bird fauna in time and space.

Collection Of Mammals

The Collections of mammals at the Natural History Museum were established in 1895 and they include specimens collected not only in Balkans and Europe but also in Africa, Asia, America and Australia. Almost 10,000 specimens are included in 6 separate collections, and there is also a Collection of hunting weapons and gear. The origins of these collections are in the small “Collection of animals” at Great School in Belgrade. The rich Study Collection of Mammals, as a referent one, is of crucial importance for analysis and validation of mammal fauna of Serbia and Balkan Peninsula. The data from this Collection were used to prepare the list of mammal fauna as well as estimates of diversity, bionomy, distribution and ecology of mammals of various territorial units and primarily Serbia. The History Collection of Mammals mostly includes the specimens from the Great School, but also others collected in the period from the second half of XIX century to World War II. The Collection of exhibition specimens of mammals includes the mounted taxidermic specimens which are very important for the exhibition activity. The Collection of Exotic Mammals includes the preparates of animals from out of Europe. The Yugoslav collection of trophies mostly includes the specimens from the former Museum of Forestry and Hunting. Those are various trophies from the territory of SFR Yugoslavia. The base for the Collection of foreign hunting trophies is formed by specimens from Collection by Jevgenij Demidov – Duke San Donato, mostly from the Asian continent but also from Africa, America and Australia. The Collection of hunting weapons and gear was also transferred from the Museum of forestry and hunting; it includes the most diverse objects from primitive bows and arrow bags to Middle Ages weapons to modern hunting weapons and gear.