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Specimens from India at the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo (NHM-UiO)


This dataset includes specimens originating from India in the collections at the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo (NHM-UiO).

Animals: The mammal collection includes 108 specimens (mounted animals, skulls or skins, sometimes from the same individuals) from ‘India’. Insofar these are dated at all, they originate from the 19th century. No further collecting information is preserved. These data are already available from the GBIF portal (and not included in this dataset). Oslo has 1027 bird specimens from India, both skins and mounted and demounted specimens. These are either not dated or originate from the 19th century or the first half of the 20th century. Locality is sometimes recorded at the region or district level, with relatively many specimens from Darjeeling. More detailed collecting data are missing. Most have been collected by Englishmen, some of whom have had an important role in Indian ornithology. These skins may therefore be of particular historical value. Notable are 295 skins labeled as being collected by ‘Blyth’. This name most likely refers to the English zoologist Edward Blyth (1810 –1873), who was one of the founders of zoology in India (cf. Wikipedia lemma Edward Blyth). Another known name is Henry Seebohm (1832-1895), to whom twelve skins are attributed (misspelled in one case as Subohm). The bird data are not yet published in GBIF. The fish collection contains 34 databased specimens. The Staphylinidae beetle collection includes 508 specimens from India which are not yet identified to species level. The Hymenoptera collection includes 130 pinned specimens originating from the collection of Charles Thomas Bingham (1848-1908). These have been collected in Sikkim. In addition there are 7 Hymenoptera and 1 Orthoptera originating from the Deinboll collection, all labelled Trankebar. Some of these may represent types of taxa described by J.C. Fabricius (1745-1808). These collections are not yet digitised. There are virtually no Lepidoptera or Diptera from India in Oslo. Finally, the museum holds circa 10 crustacean specimens and 3 molluscs.

Plants: There is a small digitised collection of 89 vascular plants from Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra provinces. These were deposited by the Indian student B. Natarajan who studied in Oslo in the 1990s. In addition, the older vascular plant type collection in Oslo has been digitised. This includes 12 older type specimens from India. Most of the herbarium has not been digitised, however. It may contain between 5 000 and 10 000 specimens from India. These are currently difficult to locate as the herbarium is organised in taxonomic rather than geographic units. The museum intends to digitise the herbarium at a level that would enable the retrieval of taxa per continent or even per country. This enterprise is still in the planning phase, however. Likewise the bryophyte and algae collections might contain material from India, but this can only be retrieved after digitisation. Some of these records are published to GBIF as a separate dataset. Oslo probably holds no Indian fungi. The digitisation of the Oslo lichen herbarium is ongoing. Currently 34 specimens from India are visible in the GBIF portal (and not included i this dataset). This number may increase to circa 100 once the entire lichen herbarium is digitised. Most of these have been collected after 1950 and have rather complete collecting data. The botanical garden in Oslo has 6 living plants originating from India.