Ms Kathie Way

His Majesty the Emeror of Japan views a display with the Linnean Society Zoological Curator
  • Senior Curator, Mollusca
  • Life Sciences department
  • Invertebrates
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road



1966 to present         Collection Manager
                                      Division of Higher Invertebrates
                                      Zoology Department,
                                      Natural History Museum.


1964 - 1966                A Levels        
                                     Our Lady of Sion Convent,
                                      Worthing, Sussex


Job responsibilities and expertise

Responsible for the curation, conservation and interpretation of the collections of the Invertebrates I Dvision, comprising the Mollusca, Bryozoa and Comparative Anatomy collections (c.9.5 million specimens). 

Manage a team of 3 curators. Oversee the divisional work experience/volunteer programme.
Particular expertise in the identification and interpretation of historical (especially type) molluscan material; good knowledge of  handwriting/curation methods of early collectors and the associated archives. 

Identification of tropical marine gastropods. Served on Society for the History of Natural History. 

Council 1991-1994, 1997-1999, 2009 - present and as Secretary 1999-2004.

Current projects

  • Linnean Shell collection
    Reorganising the dry bivalve collections in the S.W.Basement Corridor, Waterhouse Building
  • Overseeing the incorporation of the backlog of non-marine molluscan material (c.100,000 lots).
  • Listing the 5000+ genera in the NHM molluscan collections for import into KeEmu
  • Producing an Access list of bivalve types for import into KeEmu
  • Data-cleaning Mollusca registration records for import into KeEmu
  • Contribution to planned publication by the Royal Library, Windsor Castle on The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo
  • Member of consultative team interpreting the 18th century collections held at Hatchlands House, Surrey. Supported by the Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art
  • Digitisation of the Zoological collections of the Linnean Society, London

Professional Roles

Key positions held (current)

Honorary Curator of the Zoological Collections, Linnean Society of London
Membership Secretary, Society for the History of Natural History (Council member 1991-94, 1997-99, 2009-2011 and as Secretary 1999-2004)


Media & public understanding of science work

“Behind the Scenes” tours and talks, Corporate Hospitality, Friends of the NHM etc.   

Talks and presentations on the Sloane and Banks shell collections, often in collaboration with the Centre for Arts and Humanities Research.

Press interviews and couriering of specimens for touring exhibitions, including Pearls - A Natural History an AMNH exhibition mounted in:

Involvement with the development and condition monitoring of the  “Enlightenment” Gallery, King’s Library, British Museum; loan of historical material from the NHM Sloane, Banks and Cracherode collections for long (30+ years) display; continuing liaison with BM curators on gallery talks etc.

Meetings, workshops organised:


Biology Curators Group study tours to:-

  • Paris (old displays) 1993
  • Amsterdam/Leiden (old storage) 1994
  • Brussels 1995
  • Paris (new displays) 1996
  • Vienna 1997
  • Leiden (new storage) 1998
  • “Paper, Glue & Print” meeting at the Natural History Museum 1995
  • Society for the History of Natural History meeting on Sir Hans Sloane at the Jamaican High Commission 1995


  • Way, K. ( 2007 ) The Linnaean Collection at Burlington House The Linnean Special Issue 7 : 1-27 .
  • Way, K. ( 2006 ) Book Review of “From Private to Public - Natural Collections and Museums”. Nature .
  • Kabat, A.R., Finet,Y. & Way,K. ( 1997 ) Catalogue of the Naticidae (Mollusca:Gastropoda) described by C.A. Recluz, including the location of the type specimens. Apex 12 : 15-26 .
  • Way, K. ( 1994 ) Invertebrate Collections, In: MacGregor, A. (ed.) Sir Hans Sloane, Collector, Scientist, Antiquary, Founding Father of the British Museum . pp.93-110 .
  • Way,K & Purchon, R.D. ( 1981 ) The marine shelled mollusca of West Malaysia and Singapore Journal of Molluscan Studies 47 : 290-312 .
  • Bishop, M.J. & Way, K. ( 1976 ) Type specimens in the Jane Saul Collection, University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. Journal  of Conchology 29 : 41-46 .