The World in a Rucksack – UT Natural History Museum Opens Exhibition on Natural Science Expeditions

The exhibition The World in a Rucksack by the University of Tartu Natural History Museum, is scheduled to open on 26 April at Tallinn Zoo and dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s national university. The exhibition will open at UT Natural History Museum on 27 November 2019.

The exhibition observes the development of natural science in Estonia during the last 100 years by looking at the natural science expeditions undertaken by the country’s researchers. The exhibition motto is a quote by Lennart Meri, first President of newly independent Estonia –  Maailm on väärt, et teda enam kui kord avastatakse [the world is worth to be discovered more than once]. The stories selected for exhibition show how the material and knowledge gathered during expeditions help scientists formulate proposals for preserving biodiversity and the natural environment.

“The exhibition focuses on the fields of geology, zoology, botany and mycology, in which the material collected during expeditions is preserved in scientific collections for further research. Visitors can use an interactive screen to learn about the species discovered by researchers from Tartu during the last 100 years and about the circumstances and facts related to these discoveries,” explained Urmas Kõljalg, Director of UT Natural History Museum and of UT Botanical Garden. He added that our researchers have discovered close to 900 species and the locations of the discoveries show that they have undertaken expeditions all around the globe.

Visitors are offered a glimpse of the atmosphere of the historical periods spanned by the exhibition by means of historical footage and photographs. In addition, the exhibition includes a number of objects which were brought back from expeditions and which, in addition to having a scientific value, also come with an interesting story. The exhibition includes hands-on activities for young nature lovers – among other things, they are invited to climb into an expedition tent and to try and lift an expedition rucksack. There is also a programme for the public and educational activities for school students.

The exhibition will open at the Environmental Education Centre of Tallinn Zoo at 4pm on 26 April and will remain open to visitors through 30 October. The exhibition will then be transferred to the UT Natural History Museum, where it will be opened on 27 November 2019. The exhibition is part of the series of events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s national university.

The curators of the exhibition are  Inge Kukk and Andro Truuverk, the designers Silver Vahtre and Margot Sakson. The exhibition’s multimedia solutions were realized by Allan Zirk, Marko Peterson and Timo Piirmann. Expert consultants who contributed to the exhibition are Mare Isakar, Urmas Kõljalg, Kadri Põldmaa, Ülle Reier, Villu Soon, Ave Suija and Kai Vellak. 

The exhibition designs were realized by Salibar. The exhibition was supported by the Estonian Ministry of Culture and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Additional information: Andro Truuverk, curator of the exhibition, +372 514 1268,