Treasures from the Natural History Collections

Press release


Image Credits


27.09.2024 - 01.02.2026


26.09.2024 7pm

Press event

25.09.2024 11am - 12pm

Place of the press event

Natural History Museum

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The collections of the Natural History Museum, divided up into the areas of Botany and Mycology, Geology and Paleontology, Mineralogy and Zoology, accommodate objects of outstanding scientific and cultural-historical importance. Since the foundation of the Joanneum in 1811 these collections have been continuously extended – by means of increasing collections, expeditions, gifts and acquisitions. Meanwhile, more 1.2 million objects can be found in the natural history depot.


This special exhibition presents selected collection highlights and tells interesting stories to do with these objects. One example would be the Giant Auk (Pinguinus impennis), a seabird resembling a penguin rendered extinct by man in the mid-19th century. Worldwide there are only a few dozen preparations of the Giant Auk remaining. One of these valuable exemplars can be found in the Zoological Collection of the Universalmuseum Joanneum. Objects are on show that due to their beauty, scientific exceptionality, unusual collection history or cultural-historical significance represent a treasure of the museum. Whether they are objects unique to the nature of Styria, plants collected personally by Archduke Johann, minerals described by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, measuring instruments used by Friedrich Mohs or glass models of squid produced by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka – this exhibition covers a broad range of objects and themes related to them.


Giant Auk

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum / J.J. Kucek

Giant Auk

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum / J.J. Kucek