Curators and Curation

Don Colless donc at ENTO.CSIRO.AU
Wed Sep 13 13:36:57 CDT 1995

     I don't know where folk are getting their definitions from,
but to me (and Webster) a curator is just one who cares for
something. The verb "to curate" is a back-formation from the noun
(cf. "buttle" from "butler"). Certainly, it has for taxonomists a
special connotation, as one who cares for a collection of plant
or animal specimens in a museum (but note that art galleries also
have "curators"!). However, I'm not aware that such caring
carries any detailed list of associated duties - and would
vigorously resist any suggestion that it should, that being a
matter of context and contract.

     Don Colless, Entomology, CSIRO.

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