Like any research or educational institution over time you acquire specimens that can be used for science or teaching. Most of these specimens are archived (i.e. ) and placed in a museum to be available for those that need them. The MLML museum has been in existence since 1968 and contains more than 11,000 biological specimens of marine algae, invertebrates, fishes, turtles birds, and mammals. There are beautiful pressed algae collected back in the 1950s to large whale skeletons collected recently. Some of these specimens are pulled out of the museum and used in classes to help students learn how to identify the species and the specific morphologies. Sometimes the collection is used by researchers at MLML or by external researchers that come to visit MLML specifically to have access to the museum. It serves as a valuable collection that is constantly expanding and improving.
We recently began a project to photograph all the specimens in the collection so they could be displayed on our website. Once available, external scientist would have access to the digital images and determine the size and condition of all the organisms in the museum. Museums are extremely valuable for tracking changes in organisms through time because they are a record of the past. Thus we are proud to have been collecting, cataloguing, and displaying these organisms for future use. We hope to have the database and photographs up on the MLML museum website soon.