Primary types in private collections

Barry M. OConnor bmoc at UMICH.EDU
Thu Sep 26 09:58:27 CDT 2002

At 9:16 AM -0400 9/26/02, Bill Shear wrote:
>Trying to return the discussion once more to the original thread-- Does
>anyone out there think that primary types belong in private collections?
No.  The last types for a major revision I am conducting are held in a
private collection in Europe.  I have been informed by his countrymen that
the owner/describer of the taxa does not communicate with anyone, so I
shouldn't feel slighted.  There were also at least two major private mite
collections holding types that were largely destroyed by their owners who
developed mental problems late in life.
        So in my opinion, keep your personal collections for your personal
reasons, but put your types in an institution where they are available for
study.  Yes, this may mean a long voyage to see them, but at least they're
not at the bottom of the sea where the types noted above were ultimately
deposited. - Barry

Barry M. OConnor
Curator & Professor             phone: (734) 763-4354
Museum of Zoology               FAX: (734) 763-4080
University of Michigan          e-mail: bmoc at
1109 Geddes Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079  USA

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