A significant source of information on biodiversity in Canada
As Canadians, we are fortunate to enjoy a natural heritage that is not only rich and diverse but is also showcased in numerous world-class museums from coast to coast.
From dinosaurs to detailed dioramas, Canada’s natural history treasures are safeguarded in these national, provincial and municipal institutions dedicated to preserving the past and discovering what they can tell us about the future.
The Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC) was created in 2002 from a common desire among directors and senior curatorial staff of Canada’s key natural history museums to establish a network for the exchange of information on issues dealing with collections, research and education. They shared a concern for the image and perception of natural history museums and increased competition for public and private funding as well as a desire to enhance cooperation among their institutions. Incorporated in 2003, the network’s primary objective is to enhance visibility, recognition and benefit of natural history museums under the shared goal of connecting people with nature.
This unique network seeks to:
- identify issues of common concern,
- share resources, expertise and experience among its members,
- speak out with a single voice
- and bring the necessary support to collaborative initiatives of the membership.
Collectively, ANHMC members house 31.6% of Canada’s natural history specimens (the others being in collections of non-member museums, universities, botanical gardens, zoos and government agencies). This amount represents the most complete and comprehensive representation of Canadian biodiversity (botany, vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, and earth sciences).
The estimated 19 million specimens represent the biota of all regions of Canada and provide a historic perspective on our living environment dating back to the 19th century.
Through the Federal Biodiversity Information Partnership (FBIP), the ANHMC members are collaborating in the development of integrated computer-based global databanks designed to improve access to natural history information and collections.