The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' Amphibians and Reptiles Unit contains approximately 262,000 specimens (81,350+ lots), and is one of the largest and most complete regional collections in the United States
. Founded in the late 1800s, the collection consists of approximately 80% North Carolina material, although 47 states, 57 countries, and more than 640 species are represented. Other states with substantial representation include California, Delaware, Georgia
, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey
, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Other countries with substantial representation include Laos
, Vietnam, and Gabon
, and the international focus of the collection is expanding. Important recent acquisitions include large collections from Duke and Virginia Commonwealth Universities, the University of North Carolina’s Institute of Marine Sciences, and the personal collection of the late E. E. Brown of Davidson College. The collection houses fluid-preserved specimens, skeletons, skins, tissues for molecular analyses, and other materials. Photographic vouchers, field notes, other museums’ records of North Carolina holdings, and specimen data sheets are also maintained as part of the materials documenting these resources.