NRM Ichthyology Collection

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Collection

The Swedish Museum of Natural History is the offspring of the natural history collections of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Academy was founded on 2 June 1739 by a group composed of factory owner Jonas Alström (knighted Alströmer), politician Anders Johan von Höpken, politician and amateur botanist Sten Carl Bielcke, naturalist and physician Carl Linnaeus, engineer Mårten Triewald, and farm owner and politician Carl Wilhelm Cederhielm.

Already on 18 August 1739, Alström presented the first specimens, a couple of sponges, and on 1 September Triewald forwarded the second gift, egg capsules of a skate donated by Thomas Plomgren (1702-1754).

The only dedicated biologists among the founders, Carl Linnaeus, in effect became the first curator of the collection, and unfortunately took the liberty of diverting to his own collection numerous objects of particular interest or inexpensive to curate. This lasted until 1750, when the Academy made clear that specimens presented to the Academy had to remain within its custody in Stockholm. After that date the Academy received several important donations, including the collection of King Adolf Fredrik in 1801, and holdings grew steadily. For much of the time the collections were poorly curated, however, and there may have been an overall net loss.

The Academy collection eventually developed into the present Museum when the Academy in 1819 accepted the merger with the major private collection of Gustaf von Paykull, and the name became Riks Museum. The Museum, with its present name, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, dates to 1841, and the current building in Frescati in the northern outskirts of Stockholm, dates from 1916.

The Museum Adolphi Friderici fishes are catalogued separately. The following are examples of other fishes traced to the Academy collection:

Author: Sven O Kullander
Copyright © 1997 Swedish Museum of Natural History and the author.
Disclaimer: This document is not to be considered as published in the sense of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, and statements herein are not herewith made available for purposes of zoological nomenclature.

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Latest update: 22 January 1997
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