About the collections
1. Mounted Animals
Database of the mounted animals available for loan at Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales
This database has been created to provide information on the mounted animals that the museum holds which are suitable for loan. Information provided is limited to: the scientific name and hierarchy; the common name; the nature and condition of the specimen; and the donor/vendor. Images are limited at the moment but it is hoped to add more in the future. It is aimed at those wishing to see what the museum holds with a view to loaning specimens or wishing to see if we hold specimens collected by a certain individual or prepared by a particular taxidermist. Most of the specimens have little information on collection locality or date, although future versions will be updated as what information we have is checked.
The database contains approximately 2,000 records which represents our entire collection of mounted animals. The collection contains specimens of 624 species covering 470 genera and 224 families with birds making up over half the total, the remainder split more or less evenly between mammals and fish. Of particular note are 5 specimens of 4 extinct taxa: Great Auk Alca impennis; Passenger Pigeon Ectopistes migratoria; Huia Heteralocha acutirostris and Thylacine Thylacinus cynocephalus.
The collection largely represents the material gathered by the National Museum of Wales in the first 20-30 years after its creation. No one collector or donor features strongly in the collection but those who might be considered of significance include: the British Museum (Birds), A.J. Gear (Fish), Gerrard & Sons (Birds and Mammals), A.F. Griffiths (Birds), Mountney & Sons (Birds), D.G.H. Pennant (Mammals), T.W. Proger (Birds), H. Morrey Salmon (Birds), D. Shaw (Birds), Rowland Ward (Mammals) and J.G. Williams (Birds and Mammals).
2. Bird Skins
Database of the bird skins held at Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales
The collection totals approximately 12,000 skins and old relaxed mounts and represent about 75% of the world families. the majority of these are from the Palearctic and Oriental regions with smaller numbers of Nearctic, Neotropical, Afrotropical and Australasian species.
Almost 7,000 bird skins are accounted for by just 4 donated or purchased collections. The largest is the Capt. H. Vivian Hewitt Collection , this was purchased (although only a small part of the whole collection) from the British Trust for Ornithology in 1979. This collection alone contains representatives of 60% of the bird families of the world and covers 1,300 species, it is mainly non-British. At one time Hewitt lived in Wales and looked as though he intended to give most of his material to Cardiff but he left the country and his collection was subsequently split up.
The British Museum donated about 1,400 skins, mainly non-British, in 4 lots between 1911 and 1943, these consisted of duplicates from their collection and could contain interesting specimens as some have labels indicating they were collected by the likes of Seebohm and Salvin.
During the 1930's-50's almost 1,000 specimens were donated by J. G. Williams, many were British or European but with spells working abroad there are also many African and Indian species. More recently Norman McCanch donated 1,200 skins of mainly British birds, most collected in the last 20 years.
The remainder of the collection has built up as a since the 1911 British Museum donation and has largely been the result of chance acquisitions and the donation of odd smaller collections.