Collections and databases
The marine collections of the Alliance Sorbonne University are very rich in terms of taxonomic and geographical diversity. They are several centuries old, cover the whole world and are enriched by oceanographic expeditions.
The National Museum of Natural History has 28,000 documents listed in the specialized libraries of maritime anthropology, ichthyology and aquatic environments and populations, malacology and biology of marine invertebrates, in the bottoms of the marine stations of Concarneau and Dinard, in the "marine mammals" collection of the comparative anatomy library.
The libraries of the stations of Banyuls-sur-mer, Roscoff and Villefranche-sur-mer have old collections of rare works in biology, ecology, marine zoology, oceanography and phycology.
Eight of the Museum's twelve collection groups have specimens related to the sea: cultural anthropology, botany, living animal collections, marine invertebrates, ocean sediments, paleontology, biological resources - living and cryopreserved cells, vertebrates.
For many groups, these collections are among the two or three richest collections in the world. Thanks to the oceanographic campaigns of the last 30 years (with a peak of operations in the last 15 years), the Museum's marine collections have experienced a high rate of growth. The characteristic feature of these marine collections, in addition to their wide specific diversity, is the large number of geographical localities represented and the harvesting of populations. The marine station of Concarneau hosts international identification workshops that aim to enhance the value of the specimens in the collections.
The e-ReColNat program has enabled the types to be put online to make them accessible to the international scientific community.
International workshops for the identification of material from oceanographic campaigns are organized, notably at the Concarneau station. They allow the collections to be quickly valorized and made available to the scientific community.
The Banyuls-sur-Mer station has a collection of Mediterranean marine organisms, a historical collection of naturalized seabirds, collections of fixed organisms, and a collection of cryopreserved bacterial strains.
The Roscoff station has strains of living microorganisms, macroorganisms in stabling in about fifty aquariums, collections from the Channel in the 1950s.
The collections are partially digitized in online databases (MNHN, GBIF, VertNet). These are accessible to researchers and the general public. 15% of the specimens are digitized and 65% are type specimens. Other types of databases exist such as :
- BaseExp, which gathers information relating to the Museum's oceanographic expeditions
- Pechker, which gathers all the data collected by the fishing fleets operating in the exclusive economic zones of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF).
- Clemam, a taxonomic database of European marine molluscs
The Museum also manages access to a large number of databases, notably within the framework of the Nature and Landscape Information System. They are presented to the general public on the site of the National Inventory of Natural Heritage (INPN OpenObs), which contains 60 million items of biodiversity inventory data (including 1.2 million concerning overseas territories), a large part of which comes from coastal and benthic environments.