Natural history, zoology museum and “the birds”

The building, called Mariboegården (on the corners of Kongens gate/Prinsens gate/Nedre Slottsgate) was bought by the university in 1819. Natural history, zoology, mineralogy, coin collection and antiquities all moved inn here duing the early 1800s.

“Out at 12.35 ½ hour lost about the musée – could not see it [*] – then off to the Botanic garden – ½ way met the professor of mineralogy he said it would rain – returned – went into the cathedral – walked about the town –set off returned home – then off to the bookseller but returned at 2 ¼ afraid of rain –out again at 3.20 to the musee – 1 ½ hour there seeing the birds

Anne Lister, travel journal 30. July 1839

*= PS! When she says ‘could not see it’ about the museum, she likely meant that it was not open to see atm, and not that she had trouble finding the place as it was just two blocks away from Hotel du Nord

The university zoology dept. at Mariboegården had quite a collection of birds. There is documentation of a gift (of doublets) from the university of Uppsala (Sweden) in 1827 consisting of 100 Brazilian birds (plus 500 insects and ca 100 conches). There were plenty other birds collected as well, some apparently beautifully mounted in glass boxes.

This is an extinct bird, the Great Auk (Geirfugl) from 1831 (from which the University of Oslo has recently (2016) reconstructed the mitochondrial genome. source: UiO)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *