The idea to establish a natural history museum in Iraq belongs to the beginnings of 20th century in parallel with establishing natural history museums in different parts of the world and to building Iraqi archaeology museums at 1923 .This encourages specialists in natural history to seek a chance to build this kind of museums they made searches about other natural history museums In 1944 Ministry of Education send delegation to Egypt for 4month , they visited the zoo ,fish aquarium College of Science in Foad 1st university and marine life institute in Ghardaqaon Red Sea Coast . the delegation submitted on official report to the minister in January 3rd , 1945
including a suggestion to establish a small scale natural history museum.
Opening of Museum 1946
on May 2 nd ,1946 the museum was had opened , this is the birthday of his majesty king Faisal II, King of Iraq Prince of crown , Prime Minister Mr. Tawfik Al – Sewidi and some ministers were present in the opening ceremony . It was at Bab AL – Muadham . The Museum was connected to Teachers high school .
Departments of the Museum in 1946:
- The Laboratory
- Taxidermy section
- Painting and sculpture section
- Carpentary section
- The library
- Exhibition hall
The name of the museum had changed in 1962 ,into Natural History Institute which includes a research centreand museum.
Then it was spilted again into natral history museum and biological research centre in 1973 , the museum transferred into its present situation and renamed into natural History research Centre and connected to the dean of
Higher Studies and Scientific Research at The University Presidency.
Objective of Iraq Natural History Research Centre and Museum :
It aims to collect, classify, preserve and maintain collections of Iraqi fauna & flora as well as geological collections to use them for scientific purposes and researches in different fields of natural history. Consequently, it constitutes as a treasury & scientific heritage as it contains thousands of different specimens collected during past decades from all of Iraq.
These specimens exhibited in cases in the exhibition hall resembled their own natural environment. The hall is open for public through Sunday-Thursday between 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM. In addition, the centre offers educational services such us the specialized training circles in the subjects of biodiversity, environmental pollution, taxidermy & specimens preparation. Also, cultural seminars on specific aspects of natural history are usually held.
The centre is considered as Iraq reference for identification and confirmation of specific identity of faunal specimens especially to university students & researchers from other institutions.
As the modern museums deals with new trends of museum work, the centre achieved field studies on biodiversity, geodiversity, natural heritage, ecosystems & threats facing these elements all over Iraq. It also suggests scientific programs & projects that promote sustainable development which contribute to the national wealth.