Little Shells, Little Boxes!
I recently found these little 1.5-inch boxes among old collection materials here at the Museum. The little cardboard containers in the photo, resembling miniature hat boxes, held shells donated to the Museum in the late 1990s by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History). During the process of establishing the Museum collection, our Founding Director Robert Tucker Abbott (who had been an Assistant Curator at the Smithsonian), negotiated the donation of a large number of duplicates from their large collection to our nascent Museum. When old collections are incorporated as part of our scientific holdings, staff replace all storage containers, boxes, bags, and envelopes for archival-grade, standard equivalents. The little boxes and their contents dated from the very early 1900s, and the shells are now re-housed in suitable collection bags and vials. Please support collection-oriented research at the Museum by making a gift to our collection department!