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SPNHC 2022

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and National Museums Scotland are co-hosting a conference from the 4 – 10 June 2022 for the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) and partners; International Partner – The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) and National Partner – NatSCA (Natural Sciences Collections Association).

The conference will be held over several days and is expected to attract approximately 450 participants in total. The main venue will be Appleton Tower in the centre of Edinburgh, with Evening events held within NMS and RBGE.

Conference planning committee:

NMS: Sankurie Pye (Chair), Nick Fraser, Chanté St Clair Inglis, Anna Starkey
RBGE: Suzanne Cubey, Elspeth Haston, Rob Cubey

The additional organising committees comprises members of staff, students an volunteers from both RBGE and NMS.

The legacy for RBGE and NMS following the conference would include:

  • Stronger collaboration between NMS and RBGE.
  • NMS/RBGE recognition as ‘Centres of Excellence’ for collections & research.
  • Academic publications (including a special edition of a journal).
  • Increased use of the collections (from an international perspective).
  • Keeping up with advances in best practice in natural science collections.
  • Information gathered on how to make processes relating to collections more environmentally sustainable.
  • Building relationships with key partners and sponsors.

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC)

The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) is an international society whose mission is to improve the preservation, conservation and management of natural history collections to ensure their continuing value to society. These include not just specimens, but also supporting documentation, such as audio-visual materials, labels, library materials, field data and similar archives.

SPNHC was formed in 1985 and is recognized as a non-profit organization {501(c)(3)} in the United States. The Society’s objectives are:
•  To provide and maintain an international association of persons who study and care for natural history collections
•  To encourage research on the essential requirements for preserving, storing, studying and displaying natural history collections
•  To publish a professional journal, Collection Forum, and encourage the dissemination of information about natural history collections
•  To hold annual meetings and sponsor symposia and workshops to foster the exchange of ideas and information

The Society hosts annual meetings and maintains an active roster of publications, including Collection Forum, a journal that accepts submissions on all aspects of natural history collections management and conservation, a bi-annual Newsletter, and books that examine various aspects of natural history collections care, development and management. SPNHC is led by a talented group of individuals who are elected by the membership. Much of the work is accomplished through committees, which form the backbone of the Society.

There are currently over 600 members worldwide.

Website: click here

Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. BHL is revolutionizing global research by providing free, worldwide access to knowledge about life on Earth.

Website: click here

Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA)


The Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA) is a membership organisation and charity whose mission is to promote and support natural science collections, the institutions that house them and the people who work with them, in order to improve collections care, understanding, accessibility and enjoyment for all.

Website: click here

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