Zhejiang Museum of Natural History

Hongming Yan

General Director, Zhejiang Museum of Natural History

Zhejiang Museum of Natural History

Wulin Shangquan Xiacheng, Hangzhou 310003 China



Hangzhou, China

Chinese Museums Association Most Innovative Museums in China Award 2017


Wonderful cross-border cooperation, Innovation, Progress and Development


Zhejiang Museum of Natural History is a national first-class museum which was founded in 1929. It is divided into Hangzhou pavilion and Anji pavilion.

The Hangzhou pavilion, which is located in No.6 West Lake Cultural Plaza in Hangzhou city , Zhejiang province, was built and opened in 2009. Hangzhou Pavilion has an area of 26,000 square meters. The current collection includes more than 200,000 specimens, with an annual average visiting audience of over 2.1 million. The theme "Nature and Human" is considered as the basic idea for exhibition. It is made up of five display areas: "The Life Story of the Earth"; "The Rich and Fantastic Bioworld"; "Green Zhejiang"; "Wildlands--The world Wildlife of Kenneth E.Behring"; and "Health and Education Display for the Adolescence''. Anji pavilion is located in Anji county, Zhejiang province, covering an area of 300 mu. The construction area of the pavilion is 61000 square meters, and the display area is 27000 square meters. It is made up of six thematic exhibitions,  which are: " Geology"; " Dinosaurs"; "Nature Art"; " Ecology";  "Behring"; and "Aquarium". Besides, it has a 4D special effects theater and a natural experience restaurant, and is intended to be completed and opened by the end of 2018.


All good things move in the right direction,and progress with time’s advancement. China's reform and opening up for the last 40 years, the rapid development of its economy and society, mean that science and technology are advancing by leaps and bounds. The need for science and culture has also been gradually upgraded, with new requirements and expectations emerging. At present, the audience not only get information from just cultural relics themselves but also want to understand the stories behind them and the times when they existed. The need is changing from the curiosity of the collection to the desire to participate in interactive experiences, emotional exchanges and privately customised services. Extending from simple 'seeing' to 'doing', audiences hope to have opportunities to express themselves and make a contribution to the museum's history, science and culture. It can be said that the audiences’ demands have changed profoundly.

In order to satisfy the new expectations of the audience, the museum should not be complacent and conservative, but must change its role, innovate and develop, and fully play the role of display, education, and act as an open service. In recent years, Zhejiang Museum of Natural History has changed its concept of Museum management to foster a team which dare to innovate and be good at innovation. "Cross-border cooperation" is the most common word in the current trend circle. Zhejiang Museum of Natural History began to try it in 2014. An exhibition named "Life-Beyond -- Animal Image in the Central Plains Culture" was curated, "Reading humanity from a natural perspective." Cultural relics with animal shapes were selected, and the natural conditions of animals and cultural meaning are explored through the evolution of Chinese characters,  and animal cultural relics of different periods and materials are compared with contemporary animal specimens, supplemented by interactive experiences and micro videos. The interpretation of the exhibition information is more abundant and vivid, in order to make people freshly curious and to have an impact. The exhibition uses science and the history of thought, in the form of a story to explore the science behind the cultural relics; the natural and the human mutually interact to make each other more wonderful and interesting.

In 2017, Zhejiang Museum of Natural History started to attempt to introduce the popular practice of "Crowd-sourcing, Crowd-funding and Crowd-innovating" in the economic field into the museum, exploring a new model of museum curation. “The cock announces the morning---Zodiac exhibition of Chinese lunar New Year” not only displayed cultural relics and specimens, but also showed "The creativity of the masses", with many of the exhibits coming from people's homes. The exhibition gathered the power of the public, with more than 10 citizens participating in exhibition planning and content writing. In all, more than 50,000 yuan were raised and 300 exhibits collected; 365 works were created, and more than 600 citizens took part in the  preparatory activities .  It makes the audience not only "see" but also "do", to have a chance to express themselves and make a contribution in the museum, improve the affinity of Zhejiang Museum of Natural History, and reveal the social value of the museum.


With ecological education as the theme and teenagers as the focus, and expanded education services, new projects will be developed and more audiences will be attracted to the museum. Applying "Internet + scientific" methods, the use of natural subjects, connecting with the primary and secondary schools courses like "nature" "science" and "the natives”, more than 50 individual education projects were researched and developed. The education project library of the museum was also established, and the museum launched a private custom education services "menu", to arouse the curiosity of the audience, to strive to build open multiple knowledge dissemination and the education service system, as well as maintaining the museum's enduring appeal to the public.


Browse by year

Browse by category

Browse by country

View all