A memorandum from Mannee Rawa to Fred Hicks described the history of the shell museum, which was disolved in 1988:
MEMORANDUM ROLLINS COLLEGE
From Mannee Rawa, Archives Date April 13, 1979
To Dr. Fred Hicks RECEIVED ARIL 16, 1979 EXEC. V.P.
Subject A Short History of the Shell Museum
The Beal. Maltbie Shell Museum was named after the two generous benefactors who made its existence possible, Dr. James Hartley Beal and Birdsey Lucius Maltbie.
Dr. Beal, well-known in the pharmaceutical industry, collected shells as a hobby. On a sailboat tour of the Florida Islands in 1888, he found his first shell at Key West on February 18th. Fifty years later in 1937, his collection was valued at $50,000. Upon retirement, Dr. Beal sought a place where his collection would be on permanent display. Rollins President, Hamilton Holt, and Rollins Museum director, Edward Mott Davis, approached Beal and guaranteed facilities to house and display his shell collection.
When B.L. Maltbie learned that his old friend Dr. Beal was giving his collection to Rollins College, Maltbie immediately offered a building for the collection and all the equipment necessary to properly display, protect, and preserve the shells. Maltbie's daughter Harriet was a Rollins College alumna who had died four years after leaving Rollins Business School in 1924.
To make certain that this token of esteem and respect would be exactly as desired, Mr. Maltbie personally directed architect Harold Hair on the project and also supervised contractor Harry C. Cone beside providing over $4000 in funds. It resulted in a display room of forty by sixty-eight feet where shells representing practically every known type and habitat anywhere on the globe are exhibited, On February 22, 1941, the Beal Maltbie Shell Museum opened its doors to the public.
For their generosity, both Dr. Beal and Mr. Maltbie were awarded the Rollins Decoration of Honor at the Founders Day Convention, February 23, 1942. Mr. Maltbie died shortly thereafter on March 23, 1942. His passing was mourned by those who had worked with him at the Maltbie Chemical Company in Newark, New Jersey, his friends and relatives in Altamonte Springs, Florida, and his "Rollins Family" in Winter Park. Rollins was not mentioned in Maltbie's will. Dr. Beal died in September 1945 at his home in Ft. Walton, Florida, leaving property and stock valued at $6,900 as an endowment for the Shell Museum.