Collection Data

Page Contents: Section | Significance | Background | Location & Dates | Taxonomic Contents | Documentation | Description of Collection | Collection Inventory | Collection Assets | Specimen Condition | Container Condition | Label Condition | Label Content | Level of Taxonomic Identification

California Institute of Technology Invertebrate Collection

Section Responsible for Processing (Top)

MBC

Significance (Top)

The California Institution of Technology (CalTech) Recent Invertebrate Collection was established and utilized almost exclusively by Dr. Heinz Lowenstam for biomineralogic studies at CalTech until its transfer to NHMLAC in 1988.

Historically these collections were utilized to study biomineralogical processes and contents of living invertebrates by select staff members and graduate students. Significant holdings from Palau, Bermuda, and the Caribbean were accumulated by Heinz Lowenstam during his visits while studying coral reefs.

Background (Top)

Selected publications that utilized this collection include:

Lowenstam, H. A., W. Traub, and S. Weiner. 1984. Nautilus hard parts: A study of the mineral and organic constituents. Paleobiology 10(2): 268-279.

Lowenstam, H. A. and S. Weiner. 1985. Transformation of amorphous calcium phosphate to crystalline dahllite in the radular teeth of chitons. Science 227: 51-53.

Collection Location and Dates (Top)

No information available.

Taxonomic Contents (Top)

Mollusks dominate this collection. Some cnidarians, echinoderms, and crustaceans are also present.

Documentation (Top)

A collection inventory does not exist. Photocopies of Heinz Lowenstam's field notes is all that exists with regard to documentation. Sets of these photocopied field notes are in Invertebrate Paleontology at the South Grand Warehouse and in the Malacology Section of NHMLAC.

Description of Collection (Top)

This world-wide, predominantly dry, invertebrate collection is divided into two parts: (1) a world-wide reference/research collection loosely curated by the late Heinz Lowenstam and CalTech students, and (2) a non- curated accumulation of wet and dry invertebrates and sediment samples. The dry CalTech collections are currently stored at the northeast and southwest corners of the North Grand Warehouse in less than ideal conditions and with inadequate lighting thus limiting access.

Collection Inventory (Top)

The dry curated portion of the collection is housed in 12 wood Malacology cabinets with 13 drawers each. Within the wooden cabinets are 238 trays that contain approximately 30 lots each = 7140 lots. The wet and dry non-curated material was housed in 100+ wooden crates (which includes approximately 600-700 sediment samples) and 100+ wooden trays. In 2003 the non-curated wet invertebrate samples (1330 lots) were curated and are now housed at the NHMLAC Polychaete Collection Room. The curation of these lots is described in the tables below.

Collection Assets (Top)

Date Click to View Image Information
08/15/2003 View [53.6 kB] Collection before curation
08/15/2003 View [49.2 kB] Samples being sorted at N. Grand Warehouse
08/15/2003 View [49.8 kB] Samples being sorted at N. Grand Warehouse
08/15/2003 View [45.5 kB] Shrink wrapped crates on pallets in N. Grand Warehouse
08/15/2003 View [27.0 kB] Shrink wrapped crates on pallets in N. Grand Warehouse
08/15/2003 View [79.7 kB] Curated samples on shelf
08/15/2003 View [46.2 kB] Curated samples on shelf
08/15/2003 View [48.0 kB] Curated samples on shelf
08/15/2003 View [50.7 kB] Curated samples on shelf
08/15/2003 View [75.3 kB] Echinoderms and mollusks from Mazatlan, Mexico, collected December 24, 1958
08/15/2003 View [78.0 kB] Mollusks from Pt. Fermin, California, July 20, 1954
08/15/2003 View [70.9 kB] Brachiopods from Velero Station No. 11917, February 6, 1968
08/15/2003 View [81.7 kB] Mostly echinoderms, Australia
08/15/2003 View [30.5 kB] Shrimp from Velero Station No. 15549, May 18, 1971

Specimen Condition (Top)

Date 4: New alcohol needed immediately (specimens will otherwise be irreparably damaged) 3: Containers need to be 'topped off' 2: New alcohol needed within next 6-12 months 1: No curation needed at present
08/07/2003 0% 0% 0% 100%
07/01/2003 0% 50% 0% 50%
02/03/2003 0% 100% 0% 0%

Container Condition (Top)

Date 4: Immediate short-term (less than 5 years) storage container replacement needed. Present containers are inadequate. Curate in the short-term with plastic buckets, whirltop bags, or similar. 3: Specimens contained in museum-grade long-term (greater than 5 years) storage containers. Jars need new closures (e.g. replace Bakelite and metal lids). 2: Transfer to museum-grade long-term storage containers. Replace or transfer to new jars and glass vials, replace cotton and closures. 1: Containers are museum-grade and meet highest curation standards.
08/07/2003 0% 0% 0% 100%
07/01/2003 50% 0% 0% 50%
02/03/2003 100% 0% 0% 0%

Label Condition (Top)

Date 4: New labels needed immediately (original labels in poor condition, paper torn/worn, legibility poor). 3: New labels needed within next 1-2 years (original labels beginning to wear, pencil writing fading, low quality paper was used). 2: New labels needed are as a result of curation and accretion of collection. 1: No new labels needed at present.
09/18/2003 0% 0% 0% 100%
08/07/2003 0% 0% 25% 75%
07/01/2003 50% 0% 50% 0%
02/03/2003 100% 0% 0% 0%

Label Content (Top)

Date 2: New label or additional label needed because original label data is incomplete and supporting documentation provides additional collection data which greately enhances significance and value of each lot. 1: Label content complete. All collection data are contained on label.
09/18/2003 0% 100%
08/26/2003 30% 70%
02/03/2003 100% 0%

Level of Taxonomic Identification (Top)

Date 7: Not identified 6: Phylum 5: Class 4: Order 3: Family 2: Genus 1: Species
09/18/2003 2% 80% 0% 0% 1% 3% 14%
08/26/2003 30% 64% 0% 0% 1% 3% 2%
02/03/2003 94% 0% 0% 0% 1% 3% 2%