News & CommentNatural History Museums

A Plea to Protect Threatened Collections

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Science  27 Sep 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5283, pp. 1792-1793
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5283.1792


Cambridge, U.K.—As species after species slide into extinction around the globe, natural history museums, with their vast repositories of specimens, provide an increasingly important record of past biodiversity and a source of data for future studies. But the central message from the Second World Congress on the Preservation and Conservation of Natural History Collections last month is that the museums themselves are a threatened species. Many collections, particularly in developing countries, may even become extinct withouta concerted effort to preserve them.