The number of types is estimated at approx. 2,000; most were acquired through exchanges and are syntypes but some are types of species described by reputed malacologists who donated their collections to the museum in Lyon: Michaud, Terver, Coutagne and Hector Nicolas.
The species are examples of international fauna and cover the full range of systematics. The collections feature both general collections and named collections: the Michaud and Terver collections are major collections from the mid-19th century, which are regularly examined by scientists due to the types or precious artefacts they contain. The Sayn and Coutagne collections contain an exceptional wealth of artefacts; they were put together through rigorous collection campaigns and considerably expanded through exchanges with correspondents. The museum also has some of Bourguignat and Locard’s type artefacts.
All these collections demonstrate Lyon's rich malacological history and the diverse ways in which the species has been approached since the start of the 19th century up until Coutagne, who put together his collection of shells with the goal of increasing knowledge of these species.