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The DiSSCo consortium in
The Greek consortium comprises 10 institutions in the country that host scientific collections. These institutions, from all around Greece, are contributing to the international effort to provide access and services regarding Natural History collections. The Greek consortium collections, hosting approximately 3 million specimens, cover mainly Greece’s biodiversity and geodiversity, and in a lesser extent the diversity of other areas, with emphasis on the Mediterranean area.
The Natural History Museum of Crete
The Natural History Museum of Crete is part of the University of Crete. It hosts collections on biodiversity and geodiversity with emphasis in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa. Nearly all specimens are electronically catalogued. Only a small part of biodiversity specimens has been digitized (<1%) while the percentage for the geodiversity specimens (rocks, minerals and fossils) is much higher (50%). Additionally, the vertebrate collection is digitally available to the public via the website of the museum.
The Zoological Museum of the University of Patras
The Zoological Museum of the University of Patras was founded in 1968 and it operates under the auspices of the Department of Biology. The collections of the Museum house over 3500 samples of vertebrate species and about 4000 samples of invertebrate species, and most of them are electronically catalogued. In 2018, the Museum has begun to digitize its collections. These new additions include an electronic catalogue of the specimens in the collections, provide access to virtual specimens over the internet and focus on environmental education via new material on urban biodiversity. The collections can be visited freely for research purposes by any researcher.
The Geological Department of the University of Patras
The Geological Department of the University of Patras hosts nearly 20,000 specimens, mainly fossil plants and animals, rocks and minerals, covering mainly Greek geodiversity. Part of the collections are electronically catalogued and less than 5% of the specimens have been digitized.
The Botanical Museum of the University of Patras
The Botanical Museum of the University of Patras hosts almost 150,000 specimens, and 80 of them are type species. The collections cover all phytogeographic areas of Greece, and also a small part of the specimens are from other European countries and Turkey. Specimens are electronically catalogued in a database, and 10% have already been digitized.
The collections of Mineralogy and Petrology Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The collections of Mineralogy and Petrology Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens host more than 30,000 specimens of minerals, gems, ore, and rocks, and some old scientific organs. These specimens are electronically catalogued in a spreadsheet, while most of them have already been digital photographed. The collections host specimens collected since the early 19th century from many important and historical localities e.g. ex USSR (i.e. Urals) and central Europe (i.e. Alps), as well as from various parts of Greece (i.e. Lavrion), Africa, America (i.e. Minas Gerais) and China.
The Museum of Geology and Palaeontology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The Museum of Geology and Palaeontology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens hosts 100,000 specimens of fossil plants and animals of Greece, and among them there are 15 holotypes. The specimens have not yet been electronically catalogued, however, a very small portion, less than 1% has been digitized.
The Museum of Ζοology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The Museum of Ζοology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens hosts mainly terrestrial animals (80%) but also marine and freshwater, and among these specimens there are 5 holotypes. The specimens are from all over the world. Electronic cataloguing has just begun, while there is no digitization of specimens. The website is under reconstruction.
The Botanical Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The Botanical Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens hosts 90,000 specimens, most of them from Greece, but also from many European and Mediterranean countries. A small part of the collection is from other continents as well. The historical collections of Prof. Th. Orphanides and T. von Heldreich are hosted here, including several types. Part of the specimens have been electronically catalogued, however they are not digitized.
The Museum of Zoology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
The Museum of Zoology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki hosts mainly marine animals (80%) and to a lesser extend terrestrial and freshwater animals. There are more than 300,000 specimens, and among them there are 14 holotypes and paratypes of Greek animals. Most specimens come from Greece, while there are birds and mammals from non-European countries. Cataloguing is in cards and books, while there is no digitization of specimens. The website is under reconstruction.
The Goulandris Natural History Museum
The Goulandris Natural History Museum is a public welfare museum that hosts 307,000 specimens, dealing with geodiversity and biodiversity. Among these there are 150 holotypes and paratypes. They come from all over Greece, but also from all the other continents. Electronic cataloguing is carried out in Excel and Oracle, but a full cataloguing is also in cards and books. However, only 4% of the specimens has been digitized.
Participating institutions in
There is no ordinary national funding directed toward bio and geodiversity collections. Funding depends on the host institutions policy and it is occasional and scarce except for basic functional needs. Occasional funding also occurs through relevant EU and National programs. Nevertheless, rarely such projects have collections as their main focus and funding comes as a sub-task auxiliary to the main one.
Everything on one screen
The dashboard you can see below contains data on the collections of natural science institutions across Europe. Page one shows the approximate number of collections per category for all of the 89 institutes who participated in an initial DiSSCo survey and page two the national contributions to the European collection. The selection boxes allow filtering for country and institutions. The data in this dashboard is populated with information as sent by the DiSSCo partners through an initial survey in November 2017 and should therefore be considered as preliminary. Following that survey, we went through a rigorous process of identifying obvious errors and contacting individuals to correct those. Nevertheless it will probably still contain some errors and information might be outdated. Please contact Niels Raes if you detect any issues so the data can be updated.
If you would like to see a full screen version of the dashboard, please click here.