In the course of the years many famous collectors and scientists contributed ornithologic material to the ever growing collection, among them C. v. HÜGEL, Th. HEUGLIN, I. PFEIFFER, C.L. BREHM, C.J. TEMMINCK, R. BOWDLER SHARPE, P.L. SCLATER, A. REISCHEK, V.R. v. TSCHUSI, R. GRAUER, A.B. MEYER, O. FINSCH, EMIN PASHA, G. SCHIEBEL, F. SEILERN and others.
curators of the bird collection: Josef NATTERER sen. (until 1823), Josef NATTERER jun. (until 1851), Johann Jakob HECKEL (until 1857), August v. PELZELN (until 1888), Ludwig LORENZ v. LIBURNAU (until 1915), Moriz SASSI (until 1940), Günther NIETHAMMER (until 1946) Moriz SASSI (until 1949), Gerth ROKITANSKY (until 1972), Herbert SCHIFTER (until 1994), Ernst BAUERNFEIND (until 2011), Anita GAMAUF (since 2011).
Even after 1765, when the Empress MARIA THERESIA changed the status of the museum from private imperial property to a public federal institution, the greatest part of the collections still remained in the Castle of Vienna, the so called "Hofburg". Lack of space ultimately made a new representative building for the natural history collections an inevitable necessity and finally the present "Naturhistorisches Museum Wien" was opened with great splendour in 1889.
Fortunately almost all of the materials deposited at any time in the collection are still extant and during more than 220 years of existence only inconsiderable losses have occurred due to decay, fire or war times.