The fish collection includes over 2200 lots (individuals or jars of individuals) of alcohol, mounted and skeletal specimens. It formed the foundation of Sir William John Macleay’s catalogue of Australian fishes (1881,1884), as well as Alleyne and Macleay’s (1877) report on specimens from Queensland, the Torres Straits and southern New Guinea collected during the Chevert Expedition, and Macleay’s works on New Guinea fishes collected by A. Goldie.
Stanbury (1969) published a list of type specimens known at that time, all of which were subsequently transferred to the Australian Museum on permanent loan and allocated additional Australian Museum registration numbers. Some additional types have been subsequently transferred to the Australian Museum. Ongoing research has led to the rediscovery of lost Sir William fish types in the Macleay Museum, as well as those of some species described by his colleagues, including Count F. de Castelnau and J.D. Ogilby.
The collection is mostly databased internally and is scheduled for online access in the near future. Additional details on Macleay Museum fish types are given in Catalog of Fishes.
- Alleyne, H.G. & W. Macleay. 1877. The ichthyology of the Chevert expedition. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 1: 261-281, 321-359, pls. 3-17.
- Macleay, W. 1881. Descriptive catalogue of the fishes of Australia. Parts I-IV. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 5: 302-444, 510-629, pls. 13-14; 6: 1-138, 202-387.
- Macleay, W. 1884. Supplement to the descriptive catalogue of the fishes of Australia. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 9: 2-64.
- Stanbury, P.J. 1969. Type specimens in the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney. I. Fishes. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 93: 203-210.