The American Museum of Natural History dry coral collection dates back to the late 1800s. Recently, we were funded to rehouse and digitize this valuable, historical collection with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
AMNH.tv Preserving the dry coral collection video

Coral Collection

February 11, 2020

      

Here is a view of some of our collection all cleaned and digitized and ensconced in their new cabinets. It is now ready for study or display.

It has been an honor and a privilege to care for these beauties. We have dusted them off, extrica...

January 7, 2020

This was the first specimen catalogued by the American Museum of Natural History. To quote from the museum’s Third Annual Report of 1871 (page 33):

“A full series of the corals of Florida has been purchased of Capt. Medary, U.S.A.”

No further information on Captain Medar...

January 7, 2020

This small but beautiful specimen was taken from the ocean 100 years ago, on July 2, 1918. What was the world like when it first left the ocean?

In England, it was noted in the Daily Telegraph that influenza was spreading, and people were crowding into pharmacies to buy...

January 7, 2020

It’s amazing how so many of the coral species in the collection remind me of plants and flowers. The tiny specimens below are from the genus and species Deltocyathus calcar, and were found 140 miles southwest of Egmont Key, Florida at a depth of 1200 feet. They are eac...

May 29, 2018

Cleaning the World, One Coral at a Time

As I cleaned this beautiful, huge coral specimen I wondered what it had seen during its existence. It had obviously grown large in some warm sea along with its brethren. I could clearly see how its tentacles would wave in the curr...

May 5, 2017

Today, for our natural history collections, we are fortunate enough to purchase acid free products to collect and store our specimens to protect them from elements that might degrade or damage them. But long ago, when many of the specimens in our coral collection were...

April 12, 2017

Today, our new cabinets from Delta Design came. Even with a few freight elevator hiccups, most of our cabinets have been installed in 'Vault 8' and it looks amazing.

April 11, 2017

In December of 2016, we were awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to clean, image, database and rehouse the dry Cnidaria collection of about 4000 specimens at the American Museum of Natural History in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology. T...

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