After spending the first 3 months of my traineeship in the Herbarium here at the museum, I’ve now moved onto the Zoology department.

The first task I’ve been given is to work my way through the stored collection of mollusc specimens, which are kept across 8 different bays of roller racking. I have been asked to go through each drawer in order to see which have been accessioned and computerised (transferred over from the old database, to the newer KeEMu database).

Drawer of Molluscs

There are approximately 800,000 individual specimens within the collection, but thankfully I haven’t been asked to work my way through each individual one!

The first step I took was to create individual labels which could be stuck onto each drawer, being ticked in the relevant boxes to indicate if the specimens within had been accessioned and computerised. As you can see below, the numbers written on the glass panels are the accession numbers, and the labels inside the boxes are the older database numbers.

Close-up of Drawer

I also added an extra row to each label for use at a later date. Here will be recorded the Internal Reference Number assigned by KeEMu to each drawer.


A spreadsheet was also created in order to keep track of the drawers which I had checked and labelled. The database also includes the drawer number, collection the drawer belongs too and the range of accession numbers within that drawer (if available, from the labels already on the drawers)

Screenshot of Mollusc database

I’ve still got plenty of drawers and bays left to work through, so it’ll definitely keep me occupied a while!

Fully labelled drawers

One thought on “Molluscs…

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