Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences Conchology

Latest version published by Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences on Sep 26, 2022 Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences

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With historical roots dating back to the early 1800’s, the Buffalo Museum of Science has had an eventful and rich journey into the present era of scientific exploration, research, and discovery. Our research collections are the records of this journey as they house artifacts and specimens that date back to our very beginnings and that span 5 different divisions of scientific study – Anthropology, Botany, Geology, Invertebrate Zoology, and Vertebrate Zoology. Through the years, we’ve seen our collections grow from just a handful of artifacts and natural specimens to now over 700,000, with the majority of these specimens being of local provenance. While we are considered a smaller institution on a national level, we proudly hold the most extensive cultural and natural record in the world of the Greater Niagara Region, and we continually strive to offer the members of our local community and to the scientific community at large access to these natural resources.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 1,920 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, Buffalo Museum of Science Conchology Collection


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: d984cc71-7248-416a-8648-6aea17153b36.  Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.


Occurrence; Specimen; Occurrence


Paige Langle
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Collections Manager - Zoology
Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences
1020 Humboldt Parkway
14211 Buffalo
New York
(716) 896-5200 x378
Kathryn Leacock
  • Point Of Contact
Deputy Director and Director of Collections
Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences
1020 Humboldt Parkway
14211 Buffalo
New York
(716) 896-5200 x376
David Bloom
  • Programmer
VertNet Coordinator
John Wieczorek
  • Programmer
Information Architect

Geographic Coverage

Specimens from the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. The collection is strongest in North American fauna.

Bounding Coordinates South West [-90, -180], North East [90, 180]

Taxonomic Coverage

Order Unionida, with representatives from Families Iridinidae, Mycetopodidae, Hyriidae, Margaritiferidae, & Unionidae. Taxonomic coverage is strongest within Family Unionidae, with representatives of Subfamilies Ambleminae, Gonideinae, Parreysiinae, & Unioninae.

Class Gastopoda (Gastropods)

Project Data

With historic roots dating back to the mid-1800’s, the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences has had an eventful and rich journey into the present scientific era. The Conchology Collection is of notable historic significance because it is the oldest section of the museum’s research collections. While conchology fell out of Buffalo’s popular culture, the resurgence of the city has prompted ecological efforts that can be directly enhanced by better access to this collection of freshwater mussels. Our project aimed to gain intellectual and physical control over the order Unionoida Conchological Collection while increasing the current care and management of this historic material. Previously in suboptimal conditions and lacking a comprehensive catalog, the collection was unknown and inaccessible for research and education. The Buffalo Museum of Science (BMS) was awarded an IMLS Museums for America grant for the rehousing, cataloging, imaging, databasing, and mass data dissemination of its 2,269 lots of unionid bivalves, which together contain 6,147 individual dry specimens. The project consisted of three main goals: (1) Rehouse, catalog, image, and database the BMS’ historically important unionid Conchological Collection. (2) Increase both the physical and intellectual access to this collection by providing a uniform catalog that will be freely available to researchers and the general public. (3) Invite greater community engagement by enhancing the freshwater mussel exhibit in our ‘Rethink Extinct’ science studio. The two-year project began on 1 September 2020. Paige Langle, Collections Manager of Zoology, lead the project team as Principle Investigator. Marisa Turk, Collections Assistant, fulfilled the role of Project Manager. Dr. Isabel Porto Hannes supported the project by providing taxonomic expertise. Dr. Isabel Porto Hannes has an extensive background investigating unionids, and she trained project team members on proper techniques and protocols. The newly completed catalog of the BMS unionid collection is now widely accessible through open-access portals, including iDigBio and GBIF. The result of this project is one cohesive collection of unionids, available for research and education and stored in a way that will invite access. Improved accessibility to this collection will not only influence current scientific inquiry, but it will also directly affect restoration, preservation, and conservation actions pertaining to these important organisms.

Title Mussel Memory: Remembering Buffalo’s Conchological Legacy through the Digitization of the Unionoida at the Buffalo Museum of Science
Identifier MA-245443-OMS-20
Funding "This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MA-245443-OMS-20)."

The personnel involved in the project:

Paige Langle
  • Principal Investigator
Isabel Porto Hannes
  • Curator
Marisa Turk
  • Principal Investigator

Collection Data

Collection Name Conchology Collection
Specimen preservation methods Other

Additional Metadata

https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ and http://vertnet.org/resources/norms.html