Above the galleries are millions of scientific specimens.
This museum contains some of the largest shell and bird collections in the country.
The specimens come from all over the world — and from the local region. As a whole, the scientific collection serves as a record of biodiversity on Earth. Our staff build, protect, and preserve our collections with the help of volunteers. Our scientists conduct a variety of research projects, and scientists from around the world also use our collections for their research.
COLLECTIONS IN ACTION
- Conserving the CollectionsOur extensive scientific collections are used by scientists and researchers all around the world. Use of these collections needs to be balanced with conservation efforts to ensure they exist for future generations.
- Vouchering for ScienceOur scientific collections provide a baseline of biodiversity for research projects. Vouchering physical specimens into permanent and managed collections like those at the Delaware Museum of Nature and Science ensures a proper documentation of biodiversity and consistency of research.
- Thousands of Mollusks added to the museum’s scientific collections in 2023Mollusk collections often stem from exploration, whether on a global or local scale. Personal collections frequently find their way to museums, especially when accompanied by available data. Our holdings have recently expanded with two significant acquisitions.
- New bird species discovered through scientific collectionsDr. Matthew Halley, Assistant Curator of Birds, is the lead author of a recently-published paper that splits the Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus fuscater) into seven different species and four subspecies — including a newly-described species from eastern Panamá: the Darién Nightingale-thrush.
- The du Pont TrophyConnecting art with science: the du Pont Trophy original paintings by artist Lauren J. Sweeney
- SoundscapesSound is a distinct part of an ecosystem. The soundscapes in the galleries are designedRead More Soundscapes
Research Library & Archives
The Howard and Dede Brokaw Research Library & Archives in the Collections and Research Division includes more than 10,000 volumes with an emphasis on mollusks, birds, and Delmarva ecosystems.
The museum publishes a scientific journal, Nemouria: Occasional Publications of the Delaware Museum of Natural History.