The Delaware Museum of Natural History’s research collections have a strong emphasis on birds and mollusks (shells), reflecting the original collecting interests of our founder, John E. du Pont. Both major collections are worldwide in scope, but also have a large number of specimens from the Delmarva Peninsula.
Earth’s Library: How the collection is used
Scientists around the world and at the Museum study our specimens to learn more about the natural world. Their results are published in a variety of scientific journals and books. In addition, staff continue to build and update databases containing information about our holdings and their data.
Most of these specimens were collected by scientists as they explored the Earth’s diversity of life and conducted scientific research. Each specimen includes data: the species name, and where and when it was collected. They help document many of the changes in the natural world over the last century. But as the natural world continues to change, scientists continue to investigate new questions. Parts of the Earth, particularly the oceans, remain poorly explored. To meet these new challenges, the staff continues to add new specimens so our collections will continue to be useful to scientists in their research.