Entomology at the Swedish Museum of Natural History dates back to the 18th century. The Department of Entomology harbours valuable collections of insects and arachnids once belonging to the pioneers Carl Clerck (1709-1765) and Charles De Geer (1720-1778), both of whom had close ties to Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linné, 1707-1778). One of the most important early contributions was the 8.600 insect species donated by Gustaf von Paykull (1757-1826) in 1819.

Today the collections of insects, arachnids and myriapods contain an estimated 2,5 million labelled specimens. The collections are rich in types as they harbour the entomological material from numerous expeditions made to various parts of the World during more than 200 years.