The mammalogy collection in the Yale Peabody Museum’s Division of Vertebrate Zoology dates to the early days of the Museum in the mid-1800s. Much of the skeleton collection, built up primarily by O.C. Marsh,
dates to before 1900 when Marsh was involved in his extensive
paleontological collecting and research. Some mammal skins also date
back to at least the late 19th century. Among the earliest specimens is
a meadow vole collected at Wood’s Hole, Masachusetts, in 1855 by J.W.P.
The mammalogy holdings were strengthened during the 20th century by purchases of collections from Ecuador, Arizona and New Mexico, and by material collected on the Morden African Expedition to Kenya in 1965, several expeditons to Canada, Roland Baker’s 1956 work in Coahuila, Mexico, and the Pennsylvania–Yale Expeditions to Egypt in the 1960s. Stanley C. Ball, the Peabody’s Curator of Zoology until 1954, carried the curatorial duties for the mammalogy collection through much of the 20th century, until the appointment of Charles A. Reed in 1961.
Over the years, significant material has been added by D.H. Selchow, W. Clark-Macintyre, S. Dillon Ripley, R.C. Morrill, W. Hoesch, J.A. Munro, G. Heinrich, J. Rathborne and J. Carr, G. Watson, G.E. Lewis, H.S. Gentry, J. Stokeley Ligon, K. Racey, J. and R. Campbell, R. MacArthur and J. Lazell. Each of the 3 former curators (Charles A. Reed, John Kirsch and J. David Archibald) donated mammal specimens, as did several Peabody Museum preparators (David Parsons, Rollin Bauer and Fred Sibley).