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On the Importance of Scientific Collections

A Series of Special Reports by the NSC Alliance


Scientific collections:

  • are libraries of Earth’s history;
  • support scientific research, human health, public education, and the conservation of biodiversity;
  • are at risk in the current worsening economic conditions

August 2013

This new series of special reports by the Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSC Alliance) takes an in depth look at scientists and institutions who are using scientific collections.

Biological Specimens Go Online: The New Digital Frontier of Collections
Museum Specimens in the Service of Science: USGS and Smithsonian Partner to Advance Science
Bees are Not Optional: To Know How Bees Fare, You Must Know Who They Are
Little Frog Faces Big Challenges: Herpetology Collection is Repository for Data on Rare Frog

Fact Sheets on Scientific Collections

Scientific collections are an important part of our nation’s scientific enterprise, supporting scientific research, human health, public education, and the conservation of biodiversity. It is essential that scientific collections receive sustained and growing funding in order to preserve and protect the valuable scientific resources they contain.

Please use the fact sheets below whenever you are educating others about the value of scientific collections.









The Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSC Alliance) is a nonprofit association the supports science collections, their human resources, the institutions that house them, and their research activities for the benefit of science and society.


Understanding Science