Chronology of the collection history

1650-1876 Collection of curiosities and rarities of the Gymnasium Illustre and the cabinet of natural history of the Gesellschaft Museum (Association Museum)
1798-1802 Purchase of various fossils for the cabinet of natural history until about 1880, however, generally accumulation of specimens in the natural history was by accident rather than collecting systematically
1801/1802 Purchase of mineral collections, for example those of von Struve and private collector Karl Ludwig von Giesecke for the cabinet of natural history
1817-1835 Captain Johann Wilhelm Wendt collected modern sea-shells during several global journeys by sailing-boat, the specimens were added to the collection
1820 Purchase of the mineral collection of Heinrich Christoph Gottfried von Struve
1842-1845 Publication of the book “Abbildung und Beschreibung wenig gekannter Conchylien” (“Illustration and description of poorly known molluscs” of scientist Amadeus Philippi in Kassel and Dr. Gerhard von dem Busch with many specimens from Bremer
about 1840-1870 Purchase of a large number of fossils from the Alpine Triassic of the collections of Professors v. Klipstein in Giessener and tradesman Förstner in Bremen
about 1874-1877 An ichthyosaur from Bad Boll, Swabian Alb of southeastern Germany, was presented by colonel Niebour and the arrangement of Dr. Otto Finsch
1865 The first Cretaceous fossils from the Stemwede hill were collected for the collection by Otto Brandt , later these were published by Arnold in 1968
1876-1890 Foundation of the Städtische Sammlungen für Naturgeschichte und Ethnographie (Collections for natural history and ethnography of the city)
1878 The well-preserved fossil of a turtle from the Bremer Stein(Bremen rock) becomes part of the collection, zoologist and head Hubert Ludwig gave a scientific description of the specimen in the following year
1879 The minerals collected on a journey to western Siberia by Dr. Otto Finsch become a part of the collection, this also includes the rock samples of the gemstone manufacture Kolywan (NW Altai)
1881 The new head of the collections of the city, zoologist J. W. Spengel, rearranged the collection of sea-shells and put it on display. Captains of sailing-boats were asked by him to collect molluscs for the museum.
1882 Aurel Krause collected fossils from the Quaternary of the Lorenzbay in Canada
during his journey from 1881 to 1882 and presented it to the collection
about 1885 E. Martens presented types of gastropods (bulimulids) from South America
1889 Molluscs from Sicily, terrestrial- and freshwater molluscs from Tenerife and the Canary Islands were collected by Aurel Krause
1890 Donation of the Förstner collection, this includes fossils from the Alpine Triassic of St. Cassian
1891-1933 The museum is renamed to Städtisches Museum für Natur-, Völker- und Handelskunde (Museum for natural history, ethnology and trading of the city)
1895 A public display was built up in the museum of the city of Bremen, with galleries on the first floor with specimens of the fields of zoology, mineralogy and geology. The school-teacher August Jordan and Friedrich Borcherding · were responsible for bringing the collections on geology and palaeontology to order, since 1898 as “wissenschaftliche Hülfsarbeiter” (scientific volunteers)
1896 Opening celebration for the new building of the museum, donation of a tusk of a mammoth by Baron Ludwig von Knoop
1896 Philipp Bernhard Schmacker leaves his valuable collection of terrestrial gastropods
from China and other marine molluscs collected worldwide in his will to the museum
1897 Walter Kükenthal collects molluscs during an expedition to Greenland
1897 Deichmann collects further material from the Stemwede hill that will be published later by Helmut Arnold in 1968
1899/1900 Numerous molluscs and fossils were collected by Dr. Erhard Eylmann on his journeys to Australia
1896/1897 The large and unique collection of terrestrial gastropods from Hawaii is purchased from William Dell Hartman in Pennsylvania, USA by Schauinsland
about 1899/1900 Half of the hall on the second floor of the Städtisches Museum für Natur-, Völker- und Handelskunde (Museum for natural history, ethnology and trading of the city) was being used to store the collections on mineralogy and palaeontology
1905 Publication of a comprehensive account on the achatinellid fauna of Molokai
(Hawaian islands) by F. Borcherding, based on the collection of William Dell Hartman that was purchased by Schauinsland in 1896/97
1911 The armour and a part of the skeleton of a giant armadillo from Argentina becomes a part of the collection
about 1912 Purchase of a cast of the dinosaur Iguanodon, that is displayed on the balcony on the back end of the new atrium
1912 Remains of mammoth, woolly rhino, deer, aurochs and elk were found during straigthening the lower part of the river Weser. These were joined with the Quaternary fossils of cave bear, bison, reindeer the museum already possesses from the travertine of Weimar in eastern Germany and the famous localities of the Dordogne in France and from Brünn in Moravia
1912 On his second journey to Australia Dr. Erhard Eylmann collects more of the rich mollusc and fossil faunas
1913 Purchase of trackways, ripple marks and bones from quarry owner Louis
Böttner near Weimar in eastern Germany
1913 A collection of Lophiodon, Plagiolophus and a few fossils including plants from Schnaittach near Bayreuth in Franconia, SE-Germany is purchased from the Grebel, Wendler & Co. company in Geneva, Switzerland
1916 Prof. Hermann sells from Bremen-Vegesack sells his collection of minerals
and fossils
1919/1920 Dr. Cohn collects the drilling cores produced by exploring the potassium salt deposits in the Bremen area and collects soil samples (no material housed in the Geosciences Collection recently)
1924 Friedrich Bocherding died, it was hard to find an appropriate successor and consequentlythe molluscs that were under his care since 1895 were unattended to until 1950
1933 Dr. Thekla Hülsenbeck-Hoyermann was employed to take care of the palaeontological collection after doing this job as a volunteer for many years already, since A. Jordan had not fulfilled his duties for quite a long period of time
1934 The museum is renamed to Staatliches Museum für Natur-, Völker- und Handelskunde (National Museum for Natural History, Ethnology and Trading)
1935-1945 The museum is renamed to Deutsches Kolonial- und Übersee-Museum (German Museum for Colonies and Oversea)
1935 A comprehensive collection of minerals and ores from southwest Africa was purchased
since 1946 In the public exhibition geology, palaeontology and mineralogy are no longer housed in separate rooms, but will be integrated into the zoological collection
1950-1956 Dr. Helmut Knipper takes care of the collection of recent molluscs until
he leaves for Karlsruhe in southern Germany
1950-1960 The comprehensive collection of the Russian prince Wittgenstein, housed for a long time in the Museum Schönebeck in Bremen-Schönebeck, becomes a part of the collection after this was already purchased between 1860 and 1890 by Bremen
1953 bis 1981 Dr. Thorwald Kruckow takes over the geoscientific collections, since 1956
he is also responsible for the collection of molluscs
1955 The collection of erratic boulders (geschiebes) of Alfons P. Meyer in Berlin is purchased
1956/1957 Determination of the recent gastropods by A. Zilch of the Senckenberg museum in Frankfurt and of the cypraeids by F. A. Schilder
1957 Expedition of Dr. Thorwald Kruckow to Mexico that produced mainly shark’s teeth
1958 Dr. Thorwald Kruckow founded a working-group for mineralogy and geology,
predecessor of the recent Geowissenschaftlichen Arbeitskreises (Geosciences Working Group)
1963/1964 H. J. Anderson donates a part of his reference material from his publication “Die miozäne Reinbeckstufe in Nord- und Westdeutschland und ihre Molluskenfauna” (“The Miocene Rheinbeck stage in North and West Germany and its molluscan fauna) from the Twistringen clay pit near Bremen
1964 The unique fossil of an adult tick from the Baltic amber was published by Herbert Weidner
1967 Preparator Johannes Geils restores and conservates the giant armadillo in January 1967
1968 The frequently cited paper “Das Obercampan des Stemweder Berges und seine Fauna” (“The Upper Campanian of the Stemwede hill and its fauna”) is published by Helmut Arnold , the reference material comes mainly from the collection
1970 Herbert Abel founded the idea of integrating the geoscientific part of the collection
into the University of Bremen in his book about the history of the Übersee-Museum: “Refering to the comprehensive collections on the field of geology,
palaeontology and mineralogy it makes sense to integrate these to the new
departments when the university of Bremen is once founded”
1971 Expedition of Dr. Thorwald Kruckow to Costa Rica and collection of Tertiary rocks, including that of the classical locality Turrucares, west of San José
1982 Dr. Elisabeth Kuster-Wendenburg takes over the responsibility for the geological
collections and of the recent molluscs in the Übersee-Museum
1986 Dr. Elisabeth Kuster-Wendenburg publishes a comprehensive monograph on pyramidellids of the collection collected from the Miocene of NW-Germany. This paper is based on 500 samples from drilling cores for hydrogeological studies.
1987 Excavation in co-operation with the Natural History Museum in Leiden at a locality near Miste, close to Winterswijk, Netherlands. A comprehensive sample of molluscs from the Miocene was collected
1988 Excavation in the Messel pit near Darmstadt, Germany
1990 Second excavation in the Messel pit near Darmstadt
1990-1992 The permanent public exhibition “Evolution” is built up. For this purpose a cast of a skeleton of the dinosaur Iguanodon has been ordered from Brussels – like in 1912 – however, the new cast is made of plastic and not of plaster
1993 Third excavation in the Messel pit near Darmstadt
1994 Prof. Richard I. Johnson, Harvard Universität, Massachusets, USA works on the agate snails that have been purchased from William Dell Hartman already in 1899
1994 Relocation of the geoscientific material inclusively the recent molluscs from the Übersee-Museum to the Faculty 5 of the University of Bremen and unification as Geosciences Collection
1997 The important mineral collection of bank director Arthur Gwinner goes to the University
1999 The book “Der Bremer Stein und die Dinosaurier” (“The Bremen rock and the dinosaurs”) by Dr. Elisabeth Kuster-Wendenburg is published. For the first time a comprehensive history of the geoscientific collection in Bremen is published.
1999 Werner A. Bartholomäus is employed in the collection and re-arranges the erratic boulder collection, resulting in two articles (Bartholomäus 2000a, 2000b)
2000 Dr. Jens Lehmann becomes head of the Geosciences Collection
2001 A laboratory for the preparation of fossils with air-driven tools is built
2001 Martin Krogmann, until then at the Natural History Museum Karlsruhe, becomes permanent technican of the Geosciences Collection
2002 Numerous activities in the “Jahr der Geowissenschaften“, · (“Year of Geosciences”),
for example the exhibitions “Bremer Stein” in the city hall of Bremen and “Evolution” shown on an inland vessels in more than 50 cities in Germany
2002 A part of the mollusc collection of Dr. Helmut Knipper, that he relocated in 1956, is discovered in Kalrlsruhe in southern Germany and is sent back to Bremen
2002 The important collection of otolithes by Herbert Menzel finally becomes a part of the collection
2002/2003 The recent molluscs, collected by captain Johann Wilhelm Wendt (1802-1847), are figured in two books by Dr. E. Kuster-Wendenburg abgebildet
2002/2003 A huge rock slab of the “Bremer Stein” (Bremen rock) with trackways of dinosaurs is donated by Klaus Köster, quarry owner in Obernkirchen, and is scientifically described by Dr. Jens Lehmann
2003 Excavations in the Jurassic of Yorkshire, northern England and Aube, northeastern France
2004 Expedition to the Tibetian Himalayas for research purposes
2005 Removal of the largest part of the collection into the new MARUM building on the campus
2005 A catalogue of all published reference material in the otolith collection Menzel is published
2006 The collection presents the exhibition “Dinosaurs – Traces of a Past World”, which is conceived in cooperation with the Landemuseum Hannover and can be seen in the “Haus der Wissenschaft”. It is the most successful exhibition at this venue.
2006 “Stinti” – a mammoth lower jaw – is found in the Weser and from the discovery to the elaborate conservation it becomes a media event in the Hanseatic city (scientific evaluation: see Lehmann et al. 2013)
2006 On a research trip to Tunisia, rich material from the early Cretaceous is collected and used in several publications (Ph D thesis Heldt 2008; Heldt et al. 2008, 2010; Lehmann 2009)
2008 A comprehensive article on the recent gastropods in the collection is published and concludes the many years of work on this part of the collection (Kuster-Wendenburg 2008).
2008 The spectacular association of a palm leaf and two clupeid fish from the Green River Formation of Wyoming USA (purchased in 1993 for the permanent exhibition of the Übersee-Museum; see Lehmann 2008a, b) is moved into the collection in the course of the redesign of the museum
2009 A collection of ammonites from the late Cretaceous of the Middle Atlas (Morocco) is published and thus permanently deposited in the collection (Lehmann & Herbig 2009)
2010 The Bremen gar fish from Brazil’s Cretaceous is scientifically published by palaeontologist Lance Grande (Field-Museum, Chicago) and returns to Bremen after 8 years of preparation and processing
2010 Herbert Menzel finally hands over his collection to the university (the important otoliths collection had already been handed over in 2002)
2010-2014 In the peak phase of the research project on an ecosystem of the early Cretaceous in Germany, the collection is growing rapidly. It is being worked on in 10 academic theses and several peer review articles
2011 Dieter von Bargen becomes a PhD student in the DFG project “Palaeobiology, morphology and diversity of macrofaunas: A case study on Early Cretaceous ammonites” and is mainly concerned with microfaunas of the early Cretaceous until 2014
2012 The booster club “Friends of the Geoscientific Collection of the University of Bremen e.V.” is founded and supports the expansion and preservation of the collection in the long term
2014 The evolution exhibition in the Übersee-Museum is dismantled and among other objects the cast of the dinosaur Iguanodon and the original of a giant deer skeleton shown on the German Wikipedia page are added to the collection
2014 An extensive donation of fossil plants from the Wealden facies of Northern Germany by Kurt Wiedenroth is processed and published (Pott et al.)
2014 On November 14th 2014 the first “Open Day” of the Geosciences Collection took place. With over 400 visitors it was very successful.
2016 With the amber tick, one of the most important historical collection pieces is scientifically reworked. Microtomography demonstrates its similarity to today’s pathogen-transmitting Asian ticks
2017 Eva Alexandra Bischof becomes a PhD student in the DFG project: “The Anisian (Middle Triassic) Ammonoids of Nevada – An Integrated Approach to Understand Morphological Change” and deals mainly with ammonoids of the Middle Triassic
2017 & 2018 Two extensive excavation campaigns using excavators bring to light several tons of fossil material in the Triassic of Nevada. Thanks to the financial support of the DFG, the booster club of the collection and the Department of Geosciences, unique fossil material can be archived and researched
2017 The fossil of a predatory fish from the Eocene of Northern Germany can be purchased for the collection thanks to a generous donation by the Küchelmann couple
2018 Contributions to Springer publishing house books on university collections summarise the history, development and current status of the collection in the fields of biology and palaeontology.
2018 After a good 10 years, the travelling exhibition “Meer Erleben” is sent into well-deserved retirement. Thousands of people in more than 100 cities have admired the fossils and recent exhibits of the Geosciences Collection (see Lehmann 2017)
2019 The cast of Iguanodon was dismantled and presented in the Überseemuseum in the new exhibition “Tracing – History of a Museum” in a new context.
2018 Dr. Romain Jattiot begins an Alexander-von-Humboldt-Fellowship in the Geosciences Collection. The topic of his project is the diversity of cretaceous ammonites in southern France.

References mentioned:

  • Abel, H. (1970): Vom Raritätenkabinett zum Bremer Übersee-Museum. Die Geschichte einer hanseatischen Sammlung aus Übersee anläßlich ihres 75jährigen Bestehens. Bremen: Röver; 352; Bremen.
  • Arnold, H. (1968): Das Obercampan des Stemweder Berges und seine Fauna. – Veröffentlichungen aus dem Übersee-Museum Bremen. 3, 273-342; Bremen.
  • Bartholomäus, W.A. ( 2000): Die Geschiebe in der Geologischen Sammlung der Universität Bremen. – Geohistorische Blätter 3(2), 149-158.
  • Bartholomäus, W.A. (2000): Muschel-führender Rhätolias-Sandstein als Geschiebe; Veröffentlichung Nr. 1 zur geschiebekundlichen Sammlung des FB 5 der Universität Bremen. – Geschiebekunde aktuell 16(2), 64-68.
  • Dunlop, J.A., Apanaskevich, D.A., Lehmann, J., Hoffmann, R., Fusseis, F., Ehlke, M., Zachow, S., Xiao, X. (2016): Microtomography of the Baltic amber tick Ixodes succineus reveals affinities with the modern Asian disease vector Ixodes ovatus. – BMC Evolutionary Biology 16(203), 1-8.
  • Grande, L. (2010): An empirical synthetic pattern study of gars (Lepisosteiformes) and closely related species, based mostly on skeletal anatomy: The resurrection of Holostei. – Special Publication, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists 6. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, i-x + 871.
  • Heldt, M. (2008): Palaeoenvironmental evolution of the Tunisian carbonate platform margin: Response to global oceanographic and climatic changes (Barremian-Aptian). – Ph D thesis, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, University of Bremen, Bremen, p. 156.
  • Heldt, M., Bachmann, M., Lehmann, J. (2008): Microfacies, biostratigraphy, and geochemistry of the hemipelagic Barremian–Aptian in north-central Tunisia: Influence of the OAE 1a on the southern Tethys margin. – Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 261(3-4), 246-260.
  • Heldt, M., Lehmann, J., Bachmann, M., Negra, M.E.H., Kuss, J. (2010): Increased terrigenous influx but no drowning: palaeoenvironmental evolution of the Tunisian carbonate platform margin during the Late Aptian. – Sedimentology 57(2), 1-25.
  • Kuster-Wendenburg, E. (1999): Der Bremer Stein und die Dinosaurier. Die Geschichte einer Sammlung. – 95; Bremen.
  • Kuster-Wendenburg, E. (2002): Entdeckungsfahrten im Auftrag Preussens. Der Bremer Kapitän Wendt 1802 bis 1847. – 110; Delmenhorst.
  • Kuster-Wendenburg, E. (2003): Marine Gastropoda und Lamellibranchiata der Sammlung von Johann Wilhelm Wendt (1802-1847). – 47; Oldenburg.
  • Kuster-Wendenburg, E. (2008): Die rezenten Gastropoden in der Geowissenschaftlichen Sammlung der Universität Bremen. – Abhandlungen herausgegeben vom Naturwissenschaftlichen Verein zu Bremen 46(2), 143-272.
  • Ludwig, H. (1879): Plesiochelys Menki (Emys Menkei Fr. Ad. Römer). Ein Beitrag zur Kenntniss der Schildkröten der Wealdenformation. – Palaeontographica. 26, 2-12; Kassel.
  • Lehmann, J. (2003): Dinosaurierfährten aus dem Obernkirchen Sandstein (Unterkreide, Berriasium) in der Geowissenschaftlichen Sammlung der Universität Bremen. – Abhandlungen herausgegeben vom Naturwissenschaftlichen Verein zu Bremen. 45(2), 473-486; Bremen
  • Lehmann, J., & Menzel, H. (2005): Die Otolithen der Geowissenschaftlichen Sammlung der Universität Bremen – Provenienzen und Katalog der Originale. – Abhandlungen herausgegeben vom Naturwissenschaftlichen Verein zu Bremen. 45(3), 657-678; Bremen
  • Lehmann, J. (2008a): Eine Diplomystus-Sabalites-Assoziation aus der Green River Formation von Nordamerika (Osteichthyes,Angiospermae, Paläogen). – Abhandlungen herausgegeben vom Naturwissenschaftlichen Verein zu Bremen 46(2), 273-277.
  • Lehmann, J. (2008b): Fundort und Fundschicht unbekannt. Der Paläontologe als Kriminalist. – Fossilien 25(6), 344-346.
  • Lehmann, J., Heldt, M., Bachmann, M., Negra, M.E.H. (2009): Aptian (Lower Cretaceous) biostratigraphy and cephalopods from north central Tunisia. – Cretaceous Research 30(4), 895-910.
  • Lehmann, J. (2012): Fossilien aus dem norddeutschen Aptium – Grabungen in Alstätte. – Fossilien 29(6), 336-344.
  • Lehmann, J. (2014): Wikipedia-Iguanodon und -Riesenhirsch nun in der Geowissenschaftlichen Sammlung der Universität Bremen. – GMit. Geowissenschaftliche Mitteilungen 58, 84-85.
  • Lehmann, J. (2017): „MeerErleben“ – Ein Ausflug in die fossile Geschichte und Gegenwart der Meere. – Fossilien 34(1), 50-53.
  • Lehmann, J. (2018): Geosciences Collection of the University of Bremen: The recent mollusk compilation. In: Beck, L.A. (Ed.), Zoological Collections of Germany – The Animal Kingdom in its Amazing Plenty at Museums and Universities. Springer, Berlin, 197-212.
  • Lehmann, J. (2018): Bremen: The paleontological research collection of the Geosciences Collection of the University of Bremen. In: Beck, L.A., Joger, U. (Eds.), Paleontological Collections of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Springer, Berlin, 93-113.
  • Lehmann, J., Herbig, H.-G. (2009): Late Cretaceous ammonites from the Bou Angueur syncline (Middle Atlas, Morocco) – stratigraphic and palaeobiogeographic importance. – Palaeontographica A 289(1-3), 45-87.
  • Lehmann, J., Krogmann, M., Hüls, M. (2013): Ein Mammutunterkiefer (Mammuthus primigenius) mit Cirripedier-Bewuchs aus der Weser in Bremen – ein Fall anthropogener Verschleppung? – Abhandlungen des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins zu Bremen 47(1), 1-14.
  • Pott, C., Guhl, M., Lehmann, J. (2014): The Early Cretaceous flora from the Wealden facies at Duingen, Germany. – Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 201, 75-105.
  • Weidner, H. (1964): Eine Zecke, Ixodes succineus sp. n., im baltischen Bernstein. – Veröffentlichungen aus dem Übersee-Museum in Bremen 3(3): 143-151.