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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

  • New data from National Museums Liverpool added - [11/09/2018]
    Over 500 type records from the collections at the World Museum, Liverpool have been added, drawn largely from the unpublished lists of past curator Ian Wallace. The records include many of type material now lost to science due to bombing in the 1939-1945 war.

  • Data from Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales added - [03/07/2018]
    Over 430 primary types, complete with images, from Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales have been added. These include types of J. C. Melvill, J. R. le B. Tomlin, P. G. Oliver, and others. The contribution includes many more taxa described in the 20th and 21st centuries, types from several additional countries, and the database's first cephalopods!

  • Charts made dynamic - [21/06/2018]
    The charts in "Analysis of Collections" have now been made dynamic to reflect the addition of new data, and the text has been rewritten accordingly.

  • 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.