History of the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology


Elector Maximilian III. Joseph founds the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and instructed the Academy to build a natural history collection.


King Maximilian I. Joseph ordered, that all natural history objects in royal possession are transfered to the Academy of Sciences and deposited in the so-called Wilhelminum in Munich.


In the Wilhelminum the first zoological-anthropological department is founded of which the first curator is Johann Baptist Ritter von Spix. Since then the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology can be regarded as independent institution.


Ritter von Spix undertakes his famous expedition to Brazil. The material he collects represented the scientific foundation of the Bavarian State Collection. For the first time the specimens were collected and described according to scientific principles.

Um 1827

After the move of the university from Landshut to Munich the die Bavarian State Collection becomes linked to the university. The head of the State Collection was from now on also professor at the zoological institute.

Um 1850

Big extension of the collection through the purchase of Vertebrata and insects.

From 1900

Increase of staff and appointment of a head. Development of a collection of marine animals.


Spatial and organisational separation of State Collection and university.


The Wilhelminum is destroyed during a bombing raid. Most parts of the collection come through the Second World War because the material was kept in a safe place outside of the city. After the war the collection was temporarily stored in a wing of the castle of Nymphenburg.


The first application for a new building is submitted.


Completion of the new collection building in Munich, Obermenzing.