SwissCollNet is committed to improving the accessibility of natural history collections. A common vision and long-term strategy will promote the use of natural history collections for research, education and society.

Image: OscarLoRo,


The Swiss Virtual Natural History Collection (SVNHC) an online-portal for sharing and accessing specimen data and images of natural history collections in Switzerland.

The creation of this research infrastructure is a priority of SwissCollNet. It will consist in several stages:

  1. Assesment of the needs and technical solutions
  2. Development of an online-portal
  3. Gradual upload of data to the online-portal
  4. Sustainable operation of the SVNHC

The project is accompanied by the working group "Data management".

Assessment of needs and technical solutions

In Switzerland, many different collection management systems are used to manage data of natural history collections and the size of collections as well as the degree of specimen digitisation is very heterogeneous.

In a first step, requirements of collection-holding institutions in regard to data management are being evaluated in parallel with the technical solutions best adapted for the SVNHC (usability, costs, collaboration and coordination with similar data repositories, sustainability models). Solutions for data standards and normalisation, minimal core requirements for data transfer as well as interoperability with other data repositories are investigated.

The outcome of these analyses will constitute the reference for the development of the SVNHC.

The study is conducted by Tobias Wildi and Ana Petrus from the University of Applied Sciences, Graubünden.