Natural History Archives and Information Network

Name of the Research Infrastructure (RI)

Natural History Archives and Information Network

Acronym of the RI


Website of the RI

Location (address) of the RI

Vanemuise 46 / 51014 Tartu

Scientific domain(s) of the RI

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Type of RI


Research Services at the RI


Sample preparation and handling;

Taxonomic collections preservation, processing and analysing service

High-resolution scanning and photography;

Scanning of plants and entomology objects, up to 600 dpi resolution and max A1 page size;

Database storage and data handling;

Scientific databases for storing and handling of data;

Sample storage and preservation;

Archiving and preserving taxonomical objects and samples in collection storage facilities (drawers on rails);

Software development;

Developing thin-client access portals.

Equipment at the RI


Disk array;

Disk storage system for digital archives;

Scanner with workstation;

Automatic scanner for herbal and entomological collections;

Cabinet storage system;

System of cabinets and drawers on rails for storing collections and archives.



Number of national users per year:600

Number of European users per year:900

Number of international users per year:900

Year of start of operation

(i.e. Status and Status Date)

Status: Being upgraded

Since: 2008

Key words


Natural history archives, biodiversity information, systematic biology,   palaebiology, biologic collections, taxonomy, data network, data repository.

Description of the RI


A central infrastructure for natural history archives, consisting of storage facilities conforming to international standards, and necessary equipment required for the storage, research and recording of the collections in a database. Central to the project and participating centres is a public information system that utilizes most of the existing Estonian biodiversity information for conducting analyses. Among other things, it is indispensable for resolving issues in nature protection, for nature monitoring, discovering changes in ecosystems caused by climate change, and so on. In addition to a digital information system, it is also important to regularly preserve complete organisms or their DNA in the collections. They can be used for analysing temporal changes in ecosystems based on taxa, genes and chemical compounds.

Hosting Organisation

University of Tartu

Contact email

Aavo Kaine