The East London (EL) Museum's major natural history collections are molluscs and birds.They also have smaller collections of other marine invertebrates, mammals, skeletons (mammals), reptiles, palaeontology, geology. The mollusc collection was started by Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, first curator of the museum in 1931. She brought her family collections, including of shells, to the museum and these ... formed the basis of subsequent collections. The majority of the collection is marine. Specimens have been obtained by collecting locally, swopping, exchanging and from donations. Much of the collection therefore consists of foreign specimens. Curators who have worked here include DH Kennelly who wrote the first book on sea shells of South Africa and well-known malacologist of international repute, Dr Dick Kilburn. The EL Museum collection is the third largest in the country, after the Natal Museum and iziko South African Museum.
It currently contains 4305 records. The families were not provided.