Without much notice, the ANSP malacology section has put the first part of their photographs of type specimens online.
This is the first result of a project initiated last year, to photograph all type specimens in their collection. A much to be praised goal, as it will enhance the study of these taxa. Currently 754 taxa have been made available through http://bit.ly/1ccDBYd. As Francisco Borrero, project manager of this work, said: “So far we made an arbitrary selection to start with Pilsbry’s taxa”. All taxa are photographed from three sides, plus the accompanying label. The type status has been corrected compared with the data provided by H.B. Baker (1962, 1963).
Since H.A. Pilsbry introduced 5680 names in zoology (Clench & Turner 1962: 1), although not all in Mollusca, there is still a way to go.
This project fits with similar projects undertaken in other museums, and all major museums are either busy with or planning this activity. Unfortunately the latter applies also to my home institution Naturalis, where recently planned capacity for the Malacology section was skipped. For the time being, photographing types can only be a dream.
Baker, H.B., 1962. Type land snails in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia Part I. North America north of Mexico. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 114: 1-21.
Baker, H.B., 1963. Type land snails in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia Part II. Land Pulmonata, exclusive of North America north of Mexico. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 115: 191-259.
Clench, W.J. & Turner, R.D., 1962. New names introduced by H.A. Pilsbry in the Mollusca and Crustacea. Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Special Publication 4: 1-218.