A number of people contributed to this collection since the mid 1800s. Some specimens were acquired through purchases from European supply houses popular in the 19th century; many others were acquired from field expeditions and donations. Fossils from such well-known sites such as the Burgess Shale in Canada and the Solnhofen limestone in Germany enhance the research value of this collection. All of the major invertebrate groups, from the Precambrian to the Recent, are represented in a collection numbering about 80,000 specimens, eight of which are types (first-discovered specimens of a fossil species).
Bivalves stored in a cabinet within the Invertebrate Paleontology collection