Malacological Collection

The Museum houses a worldwide and regional mollusk collection that encompasses an estimated 125,000 lots. The collection is expanding, with a growing focus on mollusks from the coast of southwest Florida, its barrier islands, and the Gulf of Mexico. In 2012, the Museum received an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) "Museums for America" grant (Grant Number MA-05-12-0450-12) in the Collections Stewardship category to support a processing and cataloging project centered on hiring of collection staff for three years. The cataloging project is enabling the Museum to improve intellectual control over the collection it holds in public trust, and this web site constitutes the main user interface for the project.


This search engine provides read-only access to a current version of the Malacological Collection Database maintained in the Research Department at The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, Sanibel, Florida, USA.

The database consists of 41 fields of information for each lot (record) of mollusks in the Museum’s collection. Searches may be made by using 12 of these fields, 5 taxonomic, 6 geographic, or catalog number (BMSM No.). Two kinds of reports (summary, full) are available for each search. The first (summary) report shows data in 12 basic fields; 20 records per page will be returned. The BMSM No. in this table is a link to a more complete report (37 fields) on the selected lot.

How to Search

Searches may be made on single words or parts of words inserted in one or several fields. A wildcard symbol (%) is automatically inserted before and after each word. Words in two or more fields perform searches using logical “And”, wherein the combination of words must be true.

The Shell Museum would like to thank all volunteer Collection Assistants for their dedication to this project. We are also grateful to the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club for sponsoring the original web search engine.

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