Invites the global community to delve into the region´s unique flora and fauna

The launch of the digital collection portal is a milestone in the museum's long-standing commitment to scientific inquiry and public enlightenment. "Our goal is to make the natural wonders of the Arctic accessible to all," says Vanessa Pitusi, keeper of zoology collections. "This website is a testament to our dedication to preserving and sharing knowledge about the region's unique flora and fauna."

Since its founding in 1872, the Arctic University Museum of Norway is a custodian of both natural and cultural heritage of Northern Norway. By unveiling this online database, the museum invites the global community to delve into a botanical collection with more than 277,000 objects including more than 58 types, and a zoological repository of over 160,000 collection numbers, including 27 holotypes and 56 paratypes (name-bearing type specimens provide a reference for our order of the natural world and are the basis for scientific names that make biodiversity data findable and referenceable in e.g. legislation).

Will enhance our understanding of Arctic biodiversity

The Scientific Collections-Based Taxonomy and Biosystematics research group (NatSciCol) has been instrumental in digitizing the museum's collections. Utilizing state-of-the-art technologies, the team ensures that each specimen is meticulously curated and preserved, while also making them available for online exploration. The digital portal was made possible through a collaboration by UiT – the Arctic University of Norway, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and the Thematic Network on Arctic Marine Biodiversity (UArctic).

The digital collections portal is expected to foster greater collaboration within the scientific community and facilitate public engagement with the museum's research. "We are excited to see how this platform will enhance our understanding of Arctic biodiversity and inspire new generations of researchers," adds PhD student Joel Vikberg Wernström, who himself contributed substantially to this project.

To experience the Arctic University Museum of Norway's collections firsthand, visit The website is now live and accessible to anyone interested in the natural history of the Arctic.

Contact Information:

Arctic University Museum of Norway

Andreas Altenburger, Associate Professor, curator of marine invertebrates,, +47 77 64 49 02

Christel Slettli Hansen, head of outreach and communications,, +47 77 64 92 80