Zool. Mus., Signatur: B III/124a Vorderansicht MfN Berlin 1893

History of the Museum

The foundation of the University of Berlin "Unter den Linden" brought three museums together :
• Anatomical-Zootomical Museum
• Mineralogical Museum (from 1814)
• Zoological Museum

The erection of a new museum is required, as the collections take up two thirds of the University building.

December 2nd 1889
Kaiser Wilhelm II opens the new Museum building on Invalidenstraße.

from 1889
The Museum receives collected specimens from the then German colonies and from significant research expeditions, such as the Valdivia Deep Sea Expedition and the Tendaguru Expedition.

Second World War with disastrous consequences

  • Execution of the world-renowned zoologist and Museum staff member Walter Arndt (1891-1944) because of "defeatist remarks".
  • Destruction of the East Wing. The large mammals and superb whale reconstructions are almost entirely wiped out.
  • Most of the exhibits are stored in safe places.

September 16th 1945
The Museum is the first museum in Berlin to open its doors after the War has ended.

After 1945
Expeditions to Cuba, into the Mongolian People's Republic and the Soviet Union
Visits by Western scientists are an exception

Fall of the Berlin Wall and Reunification
The Museum is reorganised to form three institutes:
• Mineralogy
• Palaeontology
• Systematic Zoology

The roofs and parts of the facade are refurbished and new laboratory annexes are erected.

August 2003
A new permanent exhibition section "Preparation" opens.
At the same time, the "Humboldt-Exploratorium" opens, marking a new step towards enhancing the "public understanding of science".

Beginning of the restoration and refurbishment of approximately a third of the exhibition area

A full-time Director General is appointed
The Museum is again reorganised into:
• Research
• Collections
• Exhibitions and Public Education

Begin of reconstruction work on the East Wing

January 1st 2009
Due to its importance beyond the region, Museum becomes a Stiftung öffentlichen Rechts (Foundation under Public Law) by law and a Member of the Leibniz Association.

September 2010
200 years Museum für Naturkunde

Last update: 13.06.2012