The Non-vertebrate Paleontology Lab (NPL) was created in 1999 with a mission to conserve, curate, and make accessible, collections from early state surveys and from research at the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG), the Department of Geological Sciences (DGS) and the Texas Memorial Museum (TMM). Other material came from orphaned collections within Texas. Additional collections have been contributed as donations. Current active research of NPL staff and fellows and the research of faculty and students in the Jackson School of Geosciences continue to generate material for the collections.
Materials include fossil invertebrates and plants, microfossils, rocks, minerals, meteorites and tektites. Although an exact count has never been made, the collection is estimated to contain over 4 million specimens.