Much of what we know about diversity of life and its origins comes from the collection and study of natural specimens preserved in museums. Museums collections are libraries of the world’s natural history and are vital to our possibility to interpret the Nature and understand the place of human beings in to the world. So museums are milestones of our scientific understanding of the nature, preserving the objects for posterity while fostering an informed appreciation of our complex and ever-changing world. Collections last centuries, while many scientific papers lose interest after a few years or decades.
Natural history collections are therefore the cultural heritage of every natural history museum: they tell the history of the institution, testify the activity of those who worked in the museum, and, together with the accompanying data of each specimen, are the databases which allows the unfolding of ever new scientific investigations.
The Museum of Natural History of Carmagnola was designed chiefly to preserving and understanding biological diversity of the North Western Italy, but in the time it extended this task to other part of the world such many mediterranean Countries, Africa and South America.
The Carmagnola Museum is now one of the most active natural history museum in Italy. All the material and data preserved in his collections are available locally and internationally to scholars, scientists, students and the public through on-site study, permanent and temporary exhibits, loans, publications, and the internet.
Scientific research on the collections has direct applications in very different study fields as biodiversity, ecology, climate and environemental changes, animal and plant distribution,wildlife management, nature conservation, biomedical researches and so on, as wel documented in the section “Publications concerning museum specimens“.
see also this article on the New York Times