Collection Data

Page Contents: Section | Significance | Background | Location & Dates | Taxonomic Contents | Documentation | Description of Collection | Collection Inventory | Collection Assets

Allan Hancock Foundation / Sponge and Misc. Invertebrate Collections

Section Responsible for Processing



In March 2003 these Allan Hancock Foundation Collections were physically moved to the NHMLAC. These collections represent the AHF Porifera Collection (both type and non-type material) and also include a large number of other invertebrates.


These collections are the result of decades of collecting by Allan Hancock staff, curators, students, and R/V Velero III and IV Expeditions.
See Dickinson, M. G. 1945. Sponges of the Gulf of California. Allan Hancock Pacific Expeditions 11: 1-252.
The first official collection station (R/V Velero III Sta. 1-31) was made on 7 December 1931. The last official R/V Velero IV collections (Stations 31788-85) were made on 21 June 1985.

Collection Location and Dates

MBC staff moved these collections from the Allan Hancock Building on the University of Southern California, Los Angeles campus to the NHMLA. As plastic and wooden crates and pallets are unpacked and specimens processed, the collection is being moved from the ground floor corridors to the MBPC storage spaces. Wet-preserved materials are being maintained on-site in the NHMLA main facility on MBC compactors. Dry material is stored at the Carson Warehouse.

Taxonomic Contents

The collection contains both wet preserved and dry specimens. The majority of the specimens are wet preserved.
20201001rw-text updated/added: The collection can be roughly broken into:
(1) identified (to some level) wet preserved (~1400 lots)
(2) identified (to some level) dry preserved (~10 + material at Carson Warehouse-number of lots not counted)
(3) Porifera type specimens (~10-12 lots) They are on the wire cart bottom shelf opposite K.Omura’s desk in the MBC. A hanging folder on the same wire cart lists some station data for what K.Omura could locate (M#s, LM#s, etc.) There are also two (2) bound volumes of USC station data on the bookshelves in the MBC offices.
(4) Unsorted, unidentified, mixed taxa, mostly AHF labels (format xxxx-xx) (~3,000 lots)
(5) Porifera organized by year, location name and labels with similar stations (~2658 lots)

20201001rw-Old text to be deleted: Taxa in this collection include: Porifera, Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Plathyhelminthes, Nemertea, Nematoda, Nematomorpha, Acanthocephala, Sipuncula, Echiura, Annelida, Ectoprocta, Brachiopoda, Chaetognatha, Hemichoradata, Urochordata, Echinodermata, Mollusca, and Crustacea.
The collection can be roughly broken into: (1) identified wet preserved and dry general Porifera, (2) Porifera type specimens, (3) identified and unidentified Porifera “voucher” collections, and (4) identified and unidentified other wet preserved and dry invertebrates.


A card cabinet containing Dr. Bakus’ “Porifera cards” is mentioned, but it can not be located (it was thought to have been in the Polychaete Storage Room). The cabinet allegedly contained Porifera classification cards (3 drawers) and catalog cards (1 drawer). The Porifera classification cards are ordered alphabetically by genus. They included classificatory information, as well as, genus and species authors, synonomies, etc. The catalog cards, referring to Hydrozoa, contain unordered Velero Station numbers, collection date, location, and depth. Often remarks on by-catch and habitat were included. It is unclear if the Hydrozoa referred to here are actually contained (mixed in with the sponge collection housed at the NHMLA) or are dispersed elsewhere (and not part of the NHMLA collections at all).
We seem to no longer have this cabinet which was full of card with species descriptions. There was no reference to his wet preserved collections, no station numbers or anything to provide data to support his voucher collection or any of the AHF sponge lots.

Description of Collection

The portion of the collection labeled “voucher” collection occupies four shelves. Porifera are arranged taxonomically. Crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, and polychaetes are being moved to the appropriate sections. The remaining taxa are being incorporated into the NHMLA general invertebrate collection located in the MBC portion of the Polychaete Collection Room. Wet preserved specimens are preserved in 70% ethanol. Some or all specimens may have previously been exposed to formalin.

Collection Inventory

The collection is approximately 42 buckets, 21 metal drawers, 40 plastic storage boxes and 7 pallets. Two of these pallets are reprints. The remaining five pallets contain roughly 25 wooden crates each. Each crate on average holds 25 specimen jars.
As of April 2004, this collection has been curated and is being stored inthe Polychaete Collection Range on 20 banks of shelving. The following description is of the wet preserved lots.
The identified Porifera specimens (~500 lots) are arranged taxonomically. The unidentified Porifera (~2,000 lots) occupy 8 banks of shelving. Dr. Bakus’ voucher collection (~200 lots) occupies four shelves. There are possibly ~230 type specimens (mostly mixed in with the general collection, as these are not clearly designated and labeled as such). Another ~1000 lots are mixed invertebrate phyla that still require sorting. The identified “other” taxa (~1700 lots) include: crustaceans, echinoderms, polychaetes, mollusks, urochordates, cnidarians, platyhelminthes, nematodes, ascidians, and fish.

Collection Assets

Date View or Retrieve File Information
10/24/2014 Retrieve [861.7 kB] Type Specimens in Collection: Aguilar-Camacho, J. M., and J. L. Carballo. 2012. “New and little-known poecilosclerid sponges from the Mexican Pacific Ocean.” Zoological Studies 51 (7): 1139–53.
10/24/2014 Retrieve [3028.7 kB] Aguilar-Camacho, J. M., and J. L. Carballo. 2013. “Raspailiidae (Porifera: Demospongiae: Axinellida) from the Mexican Pacific Ocean with the description of seven new species.” Journal of Natural History 47 (25-28): 1663–1706.
12/23/2003 View [225.5 kB] Pallets in hallway waiting to be processed.
12/23/2003 View [278.9 kB] Shrink-wrapped pallets waiting to be processed.
12/23/2003 View [350.0 kB] Samples transported to the museum on shrink-wrapped pallets.
12/23/2003 View [273.0 kB] Processed specimen lots in assorted containers.
12/23/2003 View [226.6 kB] Processed lots on shelf.
12/23/2003 View [426.3 kB] Unprocessed lots on pallets.
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Curatorial Status (Click to view)