Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt


The malacological section was established already in 1823 and thus belongs to the oldest divisions of the Senckenberg Research Institute. Very early in its history it received scientifically very important material, especially from the Red Sea, from collections of E. RÜPPELL. In the 1840s the famous English collector H. CUMING exchanged a lot of valuable material with many syntypes for doublets of Rüppell’s material. When in 1868 the German Malacological Society (Deutsche Malakozoologische Gesellschaft) was founded the collection gained international importance by the activities of volunteer curators like WILHELM KOBELT, OSKAR BOETTGER and OTTO VON MOELLENDORFF. Traditionally the collection’s strength is on land and freshwater molluscs and this was consequently maintained under the curatorships of FRITZ HAAS (1910-1036) and ADOLF ZILCH (1936-1976). By the journal Archiv für Molluskenkunde, founded in 1868 and edited by the Head of the mollusc section, much important voucher material of therein published papers came and still comes into the collection. At present special attention is given to work on and complete the collection of both Recent marine and fossil Tertiary molluscs.

Some important Senckenbergian malacologists:

Wilhelm Kobelt Oskar Boettger

Wilhelm Kobelt

(* 20.02.1840 Alsfeld, 26.03.1916 Schwanheim a. M.)


Oskar Boettger

 (31.03.1844 - 25.09.1910 Frankfurt a. M.)


Otto von Moellendorff Fritz Haas

Otto von Moellendorff

 (*24.12.1848 Hoyerswerda, 17.08.1903 Frankfurt a. M.)

Fritz Haas

(* 04.01.1886 Frankfurt a. M., 26.12.1969 Hollywood, Florida)


Adolf Zilch  

Adolf Zilch

(* 04.03.1911 Offenbach a. M., 01.01.2006 Wächtersbach)