Brachiopod hard parts have excellent preservation potential. As a result, the Museum’s Brachiopod collection has more than 300,000 specimens, including 10,000 type and figured specimens.
Specimens Type specimens
Uniquely, the collection includes recent (non-fossil) dry and preserved specimens in addition to fossil material.
The value of the collection is enhanced by a specialist library.
The full geological range of each subphylum of brachiopod is represented in our collection:
- Craniiformea (Lower Cambrian to Recent)
- Linguliformea (Lower Cambrian to Recent)
- Rhynchonelliformea (Lower Cambrian to Recent)
- Sowerby Collection: contains brachiopod specimens illustrated in the Mineral Conchology
- William Smith Collection: contains specimens associated with his pioneering mapping of Britain
- Sir Charles Darwin Collection: brachiopod specimens collected from South America during the voyage of HMS Beagle
- Davidson Collection
Countries of origin
The collection is representative of oceanic islands and all continents including Antarctica.
Looking for a specimen?
The Brachiopod collection is being digitised
Any questions ?
If you would like to use any specimens for research
We have set out on an ambitious programme to develop a new science and digitisation centre at Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire by 2026. As we prepare for the move, access to some collections will be affected.
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