University of Tennessee Knoxville, McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture (MMNHC)

The mollusk collection at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) began in 1973 with the arrival of Dr. Paul W. Parmalee.  Initially stored in a closet in the football stadium, the collection was moved to the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture (MMNHC) in the late 1970's and was used for The Freshwater Mussels of Tennessee by Parmalee and Bogan (1998). The collection consists primarily of freshwater mussels, aquatic gastropods, and terrestrial gastropods, and it is growing rapidly as material is brought in by graduate students, numerous state and federal agency biologists, and collaborating researchers within UTK and at other academic institutions. The MMNHC collection is one of the largest on-campus collections in the U.S., and it is the only collection in the world having aquatic mollusk specimens from all 95 Tennessee counties. All 141 species of freshwater mussels historically occurring in Tennessee are represented in the MMNHC collection, and we have material dating back to the mid 1800's. Our collection presently includes 265 of the 303 species from the U.S. and Canada, and the collection includes 70 endangered species, 9 threatened species, 16 species considered extinct, 6 species proposed endangered, 9 species proposed threatened, and 7 species under review for federal status. A significant amount of uncatalogued material, including both modern and archaeological shells, is in storage and is being processes.

Contacts: Gerald Dinkins,, 8659749928
Collection Type: Preserved Specimens
Management: Data snapshot of local collection database
Last Update: 21 April 2023
Digital Metadata: EML File
Collection Statistics
  • 23,464 specimen records
  • 16,770 (71%) georeferenced
  • 22,540 (96%) identified to species
  • 131 families
  • 294 genera
  • 836 species
  • 837 total taxa (including subsp. and var.)
Extra Statistics