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COLLECTIONS & RESEARCH

 

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.

C&R Spotlight

Egg collections: Part of Earth’s library

The second Friday of October has been designated as World Egg Day, with a focus on eggs as a food source. But during the late 19th and early 20th century, collecting wild birds eggs was  a popular [...]

Extreme Research: DMNH’s Curator of Mollusks studies the creatures at the bottom of the sea

Extreme Deep isn’t the only focus of the Museum this summer. Studying the creatures of the sea is a major part of the job for Elizabeth Shea, Ph.D., the Museum’s Curator of Mollusks. Dr. Shea [...]

Meet our scientists

Jean Woods, Ph.D.
Jean Woods, Ph.D.Director of Collections and Curator of Birds
Elizabeth Shea, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Shea, Ph.D.Curator of Mollusks
Alex Kittle
Alex KittleMollusks Collection Manager