Gladys Archerd Shell Collection

at Washington State University Tri-Cities Natural History Museum


Shell Classes & Families


Quick Tour


Introductory Study Guide

About the Collection


About the Classifications


Search the Database


Reference Holdings & Citations


Questionable IDs


Copyright & Disclaimers


Contact Us

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Gladys Doy Archerd Shell Collection is a taxonomically classified, scientific collection of about twenty thousand sea shells, varying in size from miniatures to those over 14 inches in size --many of which are now rare. Shells of the Pacific Rim comprise its main focus, but shells from many other world regions are part of the Collection as well. Out of print reference books, containing unusually good color plates as aids in identification, are included with the Collection. This web site is a continuing development, with time-to-time updating of biological information and addition of new pictures.

Gladys Doy Archerd was born in Washington State and lived her adult life in Berkeley, California. She loved the seashore, began collecting shells as a young girl living on the Olympic Peninsula, later became learned in zoological systematics, and continued building the Collection throughout her life into her 80th year. Her collection was well-known in the region, where she also volunteered expert assistance to Stanford University in organizing its shell collections. She was also a published member of the Northern California Malacozoological Club.

The Shell Collection is a gift to Washington State University Tri-cities from Burton E. & Artis L. Archerd Vaughan



Classifications, and some shell identifications, were recorded by Gladys Archerd many decades ago, and both been updated on a major scale in recent years. Here, we have largely followed the updated (Gastropod) classification proposed by Poppe & Tagaro (2006), and (Bivalve) classification remains that of Abbott & Dance (2000). Where available, the web site has been further updated based on refined soft tissue anatomy, DNA, RNA, scanning electron micrography, and other modern technics, rather than shell morphology alone (see Reference Holdings & Citations above). For all shells here exhibited on the family index pages and in the photo galleries, we have updated Gladys Archerd's journal entries, if needed. We have also tried to insert appropriate links or references to help with nomenclature changes.

Note the following exception: Data base entries were directly taken from Gladys Archerd's journals (see Search the Database, above) and the data base may not yet have been updated. However, if the shells are pictured here on the web site, information has been updated. Comments as to errors or oversights would be greatly appreciated (see my email address below).



This project was made possible, in part, through financial assistance from the Pacific Northwest Shell Club, Seattle, and, technical support from the computer staff in the Consolidated Information Center at Washington State University Tri-Cities. We especially thank Dr. Barry R. Wilson for generously allowing us to post on our web site, live mollusc photographs from his several published works.



Pictorial and informational contents are protected by copyright. Educational and research institutions are free to reproduce these pages for non-commercial, instructional purposes.

Burton Vaughan, project manager
Paul Dionne (identifications)
Cecilia Hui (code development)
Loan Nguyen (data base maintainance)
David Search (code development)
Yuanxi Zhang (site design & coding)

Copyright 2001-2014. All rights reserved.

Please see also the Disclaimer and Freedom of Expression Policy of Washington State University.



For more information about the Archerd Shell Collection contact:
Burton E. Vaughan, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor Biological Sciences
Washington State University-Tricities
2710 Crimson Drive
Richland, WA 99354-1671
Telephone: (509) 375-0142
Fax: (509) 375-0142 (voice call first)
  For information about the Pacific Northwest Shell Club contact:
Shary Almasi
2306 12th Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102

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