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Mollusca Types in Great Britain

A Union Database for the UK

This site is the result of a project (2016-2018) to unify images and information on Mollusca type specimens in several large public collections in Great Britain (i.e., England, Scotland and Wales), UK. It was created by a partnership of museums in Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Exeter, led by Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Cardiff, and the Natural History Museum, London.

Each of the participating museums has a unique and fabulous zoological collection, only a small part of which is usually on public display. To bring the types together digitally, we worked with curators at each museum to locate, select and research material from their stores and archives. Specimens were then photographed, conserved, and labelled by our team’s Mollusca specialists.

Latest updates

  • Linnean Society of London specimens now added - [31/05/2022]
    The 576 shells held in the Linnean Society of London collection have been added to the data set.  Due to the uncertain provenance of much of the material, many of the types have been verified as possible type material but we hope that this will be a useful starting point for future research. Images of specimens and associated notes, especially those by Peter Dance, have been imported from the Linnean website. An introduction to the Mollusca collection at the Linnean Society and curatorial contact details have been added to the page on The Collections.

  • Mollusca Types of Britain & Ireland is back! - [15/12/2021]
    We are back! The project team have been busy ‘behind-the-scenes’ since our last update. We have been working, amongst other things, on bringing additional collections and type specimen data to the website. Visits to other Museums in Britain and Ireland are already under way, and we look forward to uploading new records over the course of the next year.

  • Montagu Collection at RAMM awarded "Designated" status by Arts Council England - [31/01/2020]
    We are pleased to share the news that the George Montagu shell collection at RAMM, Exeter has received Designated status from Arts Council England. This mark of distinction is awarded to outstanding collections (in any discipline) held by non-national museums in the UK. Just 152 collections have been Designated to date, and receive enhanced protection and attention as a result. This is a lasting legacy of our project and a good result for Natural History, with particular credit due to Holly Morgenroth and Graham Oliver for their work on the case.

  • Show all updates...


The project was made possible by a grant from the John Ellerman Foundation’s Regional Museums and Galleries Fund, whose support we gratefully acknowledge. We would also like to thank all those who assisted with our training, research, and imaging, and with the loan of valuable specimens between institutions.

We welcome enquiries from other UK museums wishing to contribute data on their Mollusca types to the database.