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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

  • National Museums of Scotland join the project - [17/12/2019]
    The first batch of over 50 types from National Museums Scotland have now been released on the site. Types of taxa described by J. C. Melvill and R. Standen have been verified and imaged by curator Sankurie Pye. An introduction to the Mollusca collection (held in Granton, Edinburgh) and her contact details have been added to the page on The Collections.

  • Mollusca Types in Great Britain to become Mollusca Types in Britain & Ireland - [19/09/2019]
    Fantastic news! We are delighted to announce the award of a further grant from The John Ellerman Foundation. Over the next three years this will allow us to review and include the Mollusca types in the collections of 12 additional partner museums in the UK and in the Republic of Ireland. We will also be expanding the website and furthering links with global aggregators.

  • Presentations at the World Congress of Malacology 2019 - [19/09/2019]
    Our work was taken to an international audience this summer at the triennial UNITAS Malacologica World Congress of Malacology, this time held in California, USA. The presentations by Andreia Salvador and Harriet Wood received plenty of interest from researchers and curators from the US and around the world.

  • 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.