Nunnally Ichthyology Collection

  • Collections
    Collections  The majority of specimens in the VIMS Fish collection are stored in screw top glass jars with polypropylene lids and polyethylene liners. The specimens are bathed in 70% ethyl alcohol.  Photo by David Malmquist.
  • Tour Group
    Tour Group  Members of Christopher Newport University's Lifelong Learning Society visit the VIMS Fish Collection during a 2007 visit. Then collection manager Paul Gerdes (facing camera) leads the tour group.  Photo by David Malmquist.
  • Outreach
    Outreach  Graduate student Dan Dutton (C) describes a specimen from the VIMS Fish Collection during Marine Science Day.  Photo by David Malmquist.
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In response to COVID-19, the VIMS Nunnally Ichthyology Collection is currently closed to visitors and all outgoing loans have been suspended. Please do not ship collections or loan returns to VIMS at this time. Users may access our collections digitally at

{{youtube:medium|NuaJGuOjpmE, Enjoy a virtual tour of our fish collection and learn why natural history collections are so important for scientific research.}}

The Nunnally Ichthyology Collection at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is an integral part of the tripartite mission of VIMS and serves a broad community of basic- and applied-research scientists and fisheries managers, as well as providing an important resource for local community outreach. Through its history, the Collection has grown from an uncataloged teaching collection to become one of the largest repositories for freshwater, Chesapeake Bay, and coastal fishes in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although worldwide in its coverage, the collection's holdings are particularly strong in marine, estuarine, and freshwater fishes from

  • Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries
  • Virginia's coastal waters
  • The deep waters of the western North Atlantic
  • The upper reaches of Chesapeake and Delaware bays
  • The rivers, streams, and lakes of Virginia, with a focus on the unique fauna of the southern Appalachians