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Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist

Queensland Government

Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist

Queensland Museum

Established in 1862, the Queensland Museum is a museum of natural history, cultural heritage, science and human achievement. It operates 6 campuses across Queensland, and is custodian to approximately 16 million specimens and objects that show the changing natural and cultural history of Queensland and tropical Australasia.

These collections form the basis for the Museum’s core activities of research, exhibitions and public education programs that strive to better understand key global issues—from climate change to nature conservation, cultural awareness and community harmony.

Biodiversity collection

Queensland Museum’s biodiversity collection holds comprehensive collections of a diverse range of specimens from Queensland's broad terrestrial and marine provinces, collected since the 1860s. Substantial comparative material from adjacent Indo-Pacific regions is also held.

The museum has strong vertebrate specimen collections. There is a recent focus on invertebrate organisms from 2 diverse regions in Australia—the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics of Queensland, World Heritage areas.

The collection includes:

  • 65,000 specimens of protozoans (99.5% of the registered collection electronically databased)
  • 100,000 specimens of sessile marine invertebrates
  • 43,000 specimens of worms  
  • 1.1 million molluscs and crustacean specimens
  • 3.6 million insects and arachnid specimens
  • 38,000 specimen lots of fishes
  • 130,000 mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs specimens.

Access to the collection

If you are a researcher, you can access the physical collections upon prior arrangement with the collection managers.

You can access the online collection via the Museum’s website or the Atlas of Living Australia currently with over 860,000 specimen records available.

Read more about the Museum’s biodiversity collection.

Geosciences collection

Queensland Museum’s geosciences collection is the largest collection of geological material in the southern hemisphere, combining collections from:

  • Queensland Museum
  • Geological Survey of Queensland
  • The University of Queensland
  • James Cook University.

The collection includes:

  • over 7 million fossil specimens
  • 55,000 geological samples
  • 27,000 mineral samples.

Access to the collection

If you are a researcher, you can access the collection by prior arrangement.

Material is available for loan to institutional-based researchers. Type specimens are only loaned under exceptional circumstances.

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