The Department of Mollusca had its origins in the shell collection and library of Henry Burnup, a dedicated amateur who was honorary curator of molluscs until his death in 1928. Subsequently, the collection has been expanded many times over, through field work, donation, exchange and purchase. Its historical value was greatly increased by absorption of important shell collections housed the Transvaal Museum (1978) and Albany Museum (1980), as well as the Rodney Wood collection from the Seychelles received from the Mutare Museum in Zimbabwe and the Kurt Grosch collection, built up over 25 years of residence in northern Mozambique. Our mollusc collection now ranks among the 15 largest in the world and is certainly the largest both in Africa and on the Indian Ocean rim. Our type collection alone - types being the original specimens examined by a scientist when he/she prepares the description of a new species - exceeds 3 000 lots.
Henry Clifden Burnup (1852-1928)
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