The Center of Natural History (CeNak) brings together the work of three museums at Universität Hamburg: the Zoological Museum, the Mineralogical Museum, and the Geological-Paleontological Museum. Each museum houses a number of scientific collections and an exhibition.
Research on the collections, which together number some 10 million objects, enjoys both national and international acclaim. Consolidating these museums within CeNak serves three key aims:
- To preserve collections and ensure their availability.
- To expand and develop the collections.
- To make specimens available to both researchers and the general public.
From the Museum of Natural History toward an Evolutioneum Hamburg once boasted Germany’s secondlargest natural history museum, which housed unique collections. It was destroyed in the bombing of the city during the Second World War. Fortunately, many of the objects and specimens collected by Hamburg ship captains, owners, and merchants had been stored elsewhere for safekeeping. Today they form an important basis for research at Universität Hamburg’s Center of Natural History (CeNak), even though a lack of suitable space prevents us from displaying all of them in line with contemporary exhibition practices. This is set to change, however: Hopefully, the priceless collections will soon find a suitable new home in an Evolutioneum — a new type of natural history museum for the 21st century. Here, researchers will explore evolution and species diversity while the public learns about the sheer abundance of life and the threats humans pose to it in state-of-the art exhibition rooms.