The Natural History Museum in Jassy was established on the 4th of February 1834, upon the initiative of a few members of the Society of Physicians and Naturalists in Jassy, headed by Iacob Cihac, Gheorghe Asachi, Mihail Zotta, Constantin Sturza and Costache Negri. It is the first museum of this kind founded in the Principalities. In 1840 they bought for the museum the house of the high official Costachi Sturza, on Hagioaiei Street, today 16 Independence Avenue. The museum and the Society have conducted their activity in that building ever since. The building, known also as Roset House, was built by the end of the 18th century in the neoclassical style, and it is currently one of the few ar...chitectonic monuments of Jassy that includes in its structure a vaulted ground floor. The museum preserves in its collections pieces donated by early 19th century by Metropolitan Veniamin Costachi (a mammoth bones and hairy rhinoceros collection that used to hang as counterweight at the well sweep in Râşca, Fălticeni district), Prince Mihail Sturza (the Indian elephant Gaba, purchased for the sum of 135 ducats), Iacob Cihac, agha Alecu Balş, Gheorghe Asachi a.s.o. The Natural History Room became known to the general public also due to the fact that in one of its halls, the National Party deputies, on the night of the 3rd/15th of January 1859, elected colonel Alexandru Ioan Cuza as candidate to the reign of Moldavia. The exhibits include historical objects and pieces of furniture, the portraits of those who lay the foundation of the museum and of the Society, of the personalities who conducted their activity in the museum over the years: Iacob Cihac, Grigore Cobălcescu, Anastasie Fătu, Petru Poni, etc. Currently the museum collections count over 300,000 items. The most valuable include: Insects, Mollusks, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, Minerals and Plants. In 1840, when the museum moved to the current building, the museum heritage consisted in: 1,500 minerals, 2,844 plants, 3,000 mollusks and insects, 735 vertebrates, and 92 skeletons. The oldest piece in the museum collection is the Indian elephant, that was purchased in 1835 by Prince Grigore Mihail Sturza and brought to the palace, and later donated to the museum. In 2000 the museum inventory counted over 350,000 artefacts, including 3,500 heritage items (5,290 on display and the others stored). The Mollusk Collection comprises almost all the Lamellibranchiate and Gastropoda in Romanian fauna. The Arachnida (spider) Collection is one of the largest in this country; it comprises specimens from Dobrudja, Moldavia and Bukovina. The largest insect collections are Orthoptera, Odonates, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Neuroptera. The Coleoptera include over 50,000 specimens and the best represented families are: Staphylinidae, Meloidae, Cerambicidae and Scarabeidae. The vertebrates collection includes fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, counting over 14,000 specimens, comprising almost all the species existing in this country and thus making up one of the richest collections in our museums. The nest and egg collections are remarkable. The palaeontology collection counts over 10,000 specimens, and the mineral one over 2,900 samples.