Investigating RAMM’s shells

RAMM has two very significant collections of shells.

Colonel George Montagu (1753-1815) lived in Kingsbridge in Devon and collected British sea shells. He was a pioneer of British Zoology writing on birds, shells, marine invertebrates and fish. Several UK species bear his name including Montagu’s harrier, blenny and seasnail but he was so much more than just these familiar species suggest. He was the first person to approach the description of British shells in a scientific style. Shells then became representations of science rather than attractive collectables.

Miss Juliana Emma Linter (1844-1909) collected land snails from all over the world. She originally came from Devon but spent most of her life in Twickenham, London. She began her collection with the acquisition of the Theobald and Skinner collections. Eventually it grew to some 15,000 shells. The collection is primarily of land snails from all parts of the world and contains primary and secondary type material. She went on to amass a collection rich in species that are invaluable to taxonomic research and to wider biodiversity studies especially concerning conservation.

What we’ve learnt about them

Both collections contain type material and were investigated through the GB Mollusca Types project (Rowson et al, 2018). The project website and open access published papers disseminate our research findings. For more information please read posts on the Montagu and Linter collections on RAMM’s research blog.