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Chicago Ridge, IL, United States

The Museum Godeffroy (1861-1885), a private natural history museum in Hamburg (Germany) founded by the merchant John Cesar VI Godeffroy, functioned as a research and public display museum, as well as a natural history specimen dealership. Large collections of zoological, botanical, ethnographic, and anthropological specimens were obtained by company employees and an international group of contract collectors, mostly in the Pacific, made available for study to specialists, and placed in the museum's holdings or distributed by sale. The museum produced two series of publications, both containing descriptions of new zoological taxa as well as nomina nuda: a set of Museum Godeffroy Catalogs (1864-1884) and the Journal des Museum Godeffroy (1873-1910), both described and dated in detail herein. This paper summarizes the history of the museum and its collecting efforts, with special focus on malacological research and the development and fate of molluscan collections of the Museum Godeffroy, with much of the material having passed to Hamburg's Naturhistorisches Museum where they were largely destroyed during World War II. Using a species-level numbering system, the Museum Godeffroy Catalog series (and the labels associated with Museum Godeffroy specimens that were sold and traded worldwide) introduced hundreds of gastropod and bivalve nomina nuda into the molluscan literature. Previously uncertain dating of the malacological publications in the Museum's Journal, mostly by Rudolph Bergh on Pacific nudibranchs, similarly created taxonomic confusion as many of the supposedly new taxa were near-simultaneously published also in other serial publications. 591 molluscan names in the Museum Godeffroy Catalogs, and 59 in the Journal are discussed. It is shown that 42 molluscan names date from these publications, all of them gastropods: 1 (preoccupied) genusgroup name and 4 replacement species names by J. D. E. Schmeltz, 5 genera and 31 species-group taxa by R. Bergh, and 1 species by F. Heynemann. Copyright © 2012 · Magnolia Press. Source

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