The National Museum of Ireland – Natural History is one of the four branches of the National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts and History, Country Life, Archaeology and Natural History.
The Natural History collections comprise approximately two million specimens. The largest of the collections, in terms of numbers, is the extensive insect collection, which accounts for approximately half of all specimens. As with all of the natural science holdings of the Museum there is a surprising amount of material from outside Ireland. Much of this is a legacy of the 19th Century British Empire, when Dublin was one of its most significant and populous cities, and Irish scientists and keen amateurs staffed the largest navy in the world and were involved in numerous expeditions to far away places.
The museum building is a ‘cabinet-style’ museum designed to showcase a wide-ranging and comprehensive zoological collection, and has changed little in over a century. Often described as a "museum of a museum," and colloquially known as the 'Dead Zoo', the exhibitions display 10,000 specimens from around the world.