The gradual consciousness of the scientific and economic riches of marine life is rooted in the legacy of some pillars of scientific production and dissemination in institutions such as natural history museums, aquariums, and maritime stations. Nowadays, one of the biggest issues of these scientific collections of species (marine or others) is their contextual interpretation which demands its original collection point, collectors, and original aims. The current research focuses on the origin of collections of marine specimens in Portugal as well as their historical evolution. In this particular approach, we assess the connection of the Portuguese natural history museums, universities and aquariums to similar European institutions since the mid-19th century, crossing primary sources from different archives. It was possible to reconstruct connections with the Zoological Station of the bay of Naples (Italy), the Maritime Museum of Monaco, and Aquariums of Monaco, France, and England. We identify both informers and the circulation of zoological specimens that underpin Museums and Aquariums collections that are today important scientific heritage repositories for a larger understanding of marine biodiversity and its threats, and core places of aesthetic contemplation and of philosophical discussion about the evolution of scientific knowledge.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited