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From the Geology Museum to the Natural History Museum

Fire of 1932

The Universitat de València has a rich scientific and natural heritage collected in many different collections, ranging from officially recognised museum institutions to collections created and used mainly in research and / or teaching.

This heritage is associated with its own history and is dispersed throughout its multiple centers. Not surprisingly, the Cabinet or Museum of Natural History of the Universitat de València, founded in the mid-nineteenth century, was the second heritage and scientific center (only behind the National Museum of Natural Sciences of Madrid) of importance in the Spanish State. The Natural History Cabinet was located on the main floor of the south wing of the historic building of the Universitat, now La Nau Cultural Center. It was active and was enriching its funds until May 12, 1932 there was a devastating fire that devoured much of their collections. Of that catastrophe only some zoological and botanical specimens could be rescued that the university had been compiling throughout five centuries, but the geological and paleontological funds were lost. The taxidermy zoological specimens are now exhibited in the zoology room of the new museum.

The University's commitment to its heritage is reflected in the recognition of these collections. Such is the case of the Museum of Geology de la Universitat de València, a museum center officially recognized both by the competent regional administration (Resolution 26/02/1996, DOGV 2.742), and by the Universitat de València itself as a University Museum. It is the first university museum recognized with these categories in Spain.

The Museum of Geology of the Universitat de València, over the years has been converted into the Official Center for the Deposit of Movable Property, both in terms of geology and paleontology and other elements related to Science and Natural History, so that the scientific and natural heritage of the University has been continuously enriched by increasingly heterogeneous funds. For this reason, the Universitat de València emerged to bring all these collections together in a single space, taking advantage of and optimizing resources. In this way, the Museum of Geology of the Universitat de València was converted into the current Museum of the Universitat de València of Natural History, both by the Universitat de València (Consell de Govern of the Universitat de València of 22 December 2016) as well as by the Ministry of Education, Research, Culture of the Generalitat Valenciana. Resolution of April 12, 2017.