Collections & Archives

Indexes to Collections

U.S. Collections & Museums

International Collections & Museums

Scientific Illustration Archives/Image Galleries

Collection Size Rankings

Useful References

  • 1971. The systematic biology collections of the United States: An essential resource. Part 1. The great collections: Their nature, importance condition, and future. A report to the National Science Foundation by the Conference of Directors of Systematic Collections. 33 pp.

Information on Large, Unsorted Holdings Available for Study

  • DPI, Gainesville, Florida. Contact M.C. Thomas (352-372-3505 x187)
  • National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution: Department of Entomology backlog (contact: David G. Furth, 202-633-0990).  Research material of Terry L. Erwin form Ecoador and Peru (Contact: Terry L. Erwin  202-633-1022)

Orphaned Collections

  • Recent North American Examples of Orphaned Institutional Collections [very incomplete]:
  • Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (adopting collection): Brown University; Amherst Collection, Indiana University; Dartmouth College
  •  NMNH (adopting collection): Townson Univ (partial); Univ. Massachusetts (types).
  • California Academy of Sciences (adopting collection):  Stanford University

Useful References

  • Horn, W. and I. Kahle. 1935. Ueber Entomologische Sammlungen, Part 1. Ent. Beihefte aus Berlin-Dahlem 2:1-160. Part 2: ibid. 1936. 3:161-292. Part 3: ibid. 1937. 4:297-536. [Lists destinations of many private and public collections, including sample handwriting of various historical entomologists]
  • Horn, W., I. Kahle, G. Friese, and R. Gaedike. 1990. Collectiones Entomologicae. Akademie der Landwirtschaftswissenschaften der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, 2 parts, 573pp. [basically a reprint of Horn & Kahle with some embellishments]
  • Sachtleben, H. 1961. Beitraege zur Entomologie 11(5/6):481-540.Nachtraege zu “Walter Horn & Ilse Kahle: Ueber entomologische Sammlungen”
  • Sherborn, C. D. 1940. Where is the ___ Collections: An account of the various natural history collections which have come under the notice of the compiler Charles Davies Sherborn between 1880 and 1939. Cambridge University Press, 148pp.

Management, Policies and Techniques

Collection Management Policies for dry, alcohol, slide, frozen and DNA tissue collections

Valuation of Collections

(Papers, IRS)

Smithsonian Institution policy on valuation of collections: Institutional staff are forbidden from providing potential donors with a valuation of collections (i.e., conflict of interest). Institutional staff can only acknowledge the receipt of such donations/gifts and may be asked by a donor to complete Part IV (Donee Acknowledgement) section of an IRS Form 8283 indicating the institution’s tax ID number and signature/date. Donations of over $5000 in value must be accompanied by this IRS 8283 Form (Noncash Charitable Contributions) with a professional appraisal. Donations of natural history specimens/objects are generally included as items similar to art objects. The IRS considers the “fair market value” of items to be documented by similar amounts of money exchanged for similar objects, e.g., similar objects sold at an auction or in a commercial catalog.

Techniques for Collection & Preservation

Miscellaneous Collecting/Collection Literature

  • Duckworth, W.D., H.H. Genoways, C.L. Rose 1993. Preserving natural science collections: Chronicle of our environmental heritage. NSF, National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property. 140 pp.
  • Zycherman, L.A. and J.R. Schrock (Eds.). 1988. A guide to museum pest control. Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artisitic Works and the Association of Systematics Collections. 205 pp.
  • Gibb, T. and C. OSETO.  2005. Arthropod Collection and Identification: Laboratory and Field Techniques.  Academic Press. 336, 400 illus.
  • Triplehorn, C. A. and N. F. Johnson. 2004. Borror and DeLong’s Introduction to the Study of Insects. Seventh edition. Thomson Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA. 864 pp.

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