Southeastern Section - 60th Annual Meeting (23–25 March 2011)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


DIETL, Gregory P.1, ALLMON, Warren D.1, NAGEL-MYERS, Judith2 and CAMPBELL, David C.3, (1)Paleontological Research Institution, 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, NY 14850-1398, (2)Geology, St. Lawrence University, 23 Romoda Drive, Canton, NY 13617, (3)Department of Natural Sciences, Gardner-Webb University, Box 7270, Boiling Springs, NC 28017,

The collection of the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), Ithaca, NY, includes more than two and a half million specimens and is among the ten largest and most scientifically important fossil collections in the United States. Allowed to deteriorate and become largely inaccessible for many years, this collection has, since 1992, been in large part rejuvenated through a major program of reorganization, re-housing, curation and computerization to fulfill much of its potential. As part of a 2-year NSF-funded project, the backbone of the collection—its non-type systematic mollusk collection (estimated at about 1.5 million specimens)—will be re-housed in modern facilities in compactorized drawers. With the completion of this process, the collection will be essentially fully functional and accessible to researchers, students and educators. In addition to accessibility, the project will significantly upgrade the physical condition and conservation status of each section of PRI’s fossil and Recent mollusk collection by creating space for expansion within each section, and allowing for the curation of large amounts of previously uncurated material. The project also will begin the computerization of the non-type systematic mollusk collection, with the upgrade, to the highest curatorial standards, of the original G.D. Harris and K. V. W. Palmer study collections used to compile their fundamental descriptive monographs on the Paleocene and Eocene of the U.S. Gulf Coastal Plain. These scientifically valuable collections, which form the nucleus of PRI’s non-type systematic collection, contain about 7000 specimen lots. The easy availability of information on the Harris and Palmer collection on the PRI collections online database ( will ensure that this collection is made more widely known and available to the research community than it has been heretofore.