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Heritage Health Index Selected Data

Natural Science Collections

Heritage Health Index data on the condition of natural science collections was recently presented at the joint annual meeting of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections and Natural Science Collections Alliance in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The majority of the U.S.’s 820 million zoological, botanical, geological, paleontological, and paleobotany specimens are held in what Heritage Preservation has classified as “science museums” and “archaeological repositories or scientific research collections,” which include government agencies or universities that would not be classified as museums. Science museums include natural history museums, science technology museums, planetariums, and the non-living collections at nature centers, arboretums, botanical gardens, aquariums, and zoos. For a full explanation of how scientific collections were included in the survey, refer to Chapter 1, Heritage Health Index Development (pp. 8-9) and Chapter 2, Heritage Health Index Methodology (pp. 18-19).


Institutions with Natural Science Specimens


Percentage of Collections Accessible Through a Catalog (by type)


Institutions Using No Environmental Controls* for the Preservation of Collections (by type)

*including temperature, relative humidity, and light


Institutions with No Emergency Plan with Staff Trained to Carry It Out (by type)


Staffing for Conservation/Preservation (by type)


Institutions with a Written, Long-Range Plan for the Care of the Collection (by type)