THE PALEONTOLOGY COLLECTIONS
The strength and organization of the Paleontology Collection mirror the traditional significance of fossils as aids in relative time correlation and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Although the collection contains about 16,000 type specimens, its importance also derives from large suites of geographically and stratigraphically well defined fossils (ca. 600,000 specimens). This stratigraphic collection continues to provide basic data for modern biostratigraphic, systematic, and paleoecological work, and it is the fastest growing part of the collection.
Paleontology Exhibit Collection
Paleontology Type Collections
HISTORY OF THE PALEONTOLOGY COLLECTIONS
Although portions of the Paleontology collection were sold as a way to fund the publication of scientific reports during the later years of James Hall's tenure as State Paleontologist, the collection has regained its stature as a key repository for Paleozoic fossils. It has grown since 1900 through the research of staffpaleontologists J. M. Clarke (sponges, cephalopods, eurypterids), R. Ruedemann (graptolites), Winifred Goldring (plants,echinoderms), R. H. Flower (cephalopods, trilobites), and D. W.Fisher (Cambrian-Devonian faunas). Cornell University's type fossil collection was acquired in the 1970's. Present growth reflects research being conducted at the Museum on Cambrian-Ordovician conodonts and graptolites and earliest Cambrian small shell faunas.
The Paleontology Collection includes a wealth of fossil and collateral lithologic specimens from New York State. However, stratigraphically and systematically valuable material from the Paleozoic of Indiana, Wisconsin, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Quebec, Maritime Canada, Brazil, and the Falkland Islands have been brought intothe collection through work involving broader scale geological syntheses. Students of Precambrian and Paleozoic faunas are encouraged to deposit type specimens, illustrated thin sections and polished lithologic slabs, and all other materials that are the basis of published reports, regardless of geographic place or origin, in the Paleontology Collection of the New York State Museum.
Ed Landing, a specialist on the biostratigraphic use and paleoecology of Lower Paleozoic conodonts and higher level systematics, provincialism,and paleoecology of earliest Cambrian faunas, is curator of the collection.
The Geological Survey also maintains a comprehensive collection of minerals, rocks, anddrill core and cutting samples from throughout the state.