Collections, archives and libraries

The Royal Museum for Central Africa is internationally renowned for its expert knowledge of Central Africa and its unique and varied collections in the human and natural sciences.

We manage these collections to ensure their:

  • conservation
  • restoration
  • digitisation
  • availability to the public.



Overview of the collections

  • 10,000,000 zoological specimens
  • 6,000,000 insects
  • 1,000,000 fish 
  • 200,000 rock samples
  • 170,000 photos of Rwanda, Burundi and the DR Congo of the 19th and 20th century
  • 650 films on the DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi between 1940 and 1960
  • 120,000 ethnographic objects
  • 80,000 wood samples
  • 200,000 aerial photographs
  • 20,000 geological maps
  • 17,000 minerals
  • 8,000 musical instruments 
  • 3 km of historical archives  


Origin of the collections

Most of the collections come from the DR Congo, but we also conserve collections from other countries and even other continents.

Prior to 1960, the foundations of the current collection were primarily laid by military personnel, missionaries, colonial administrators, traders and scientists.

Nowadays, our collections are created as part of research or study projects in collaboration with universities and museums in Africa.

> Focus on the origin of the collections

> More info on the provenance of objects exhibited in the museum