Fw: [coleoptera] Raw's private collection note

Robin Leech releech at TELUSPLANET.NET
Thu Sep 26 09:31:07 CDT 2002

Why would anyone encourage a private collection?
Simple!  I agree with Richard, and add my own comments.

Suppose I work for a museum "by day" and on Tenebrionidae,
but go home at night and work on my collection of Dytiscidae.
I have been working on dytiscids since I was an undergrad,
but when I was hired, I was asked to work on tenebrionids.
Can it be much simpler than that?
Alternatively, suppose I work "by day" on tenebrionids, and
my wife, who is also a trained entomologist, and who is NOT
employed by a museum, works parts of each day and evening
on her weevil collection.  My wife has had a weevil collection
since high school days, it is a large collection, well organized,
and there are several types in it.
Why should she not be able to keep and maintain her own

Now, getting on with real life, I maintain my own collection
of spiders and arachnids.  I do NOT work for a museum
or university.  My collection has been made available to
researchers at the MCZ and the AMNH, to name but
a few.
There is type material in my collection.

Robin Leech

----- Original Message -----
From: "Vr. Richard Bejsak-Colloredo-Mansfeld" <ricardo at ANS.COM.AU>
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2002 3:41 AM
Subject: Fw: [coleoptera] Raw's private collection note

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <taurus1672 at webtv.net>
> To All,
>      "Why would anyone encourage private collection?"  This is a very
> dangerous sentiment by a professional in an institution.  This is a
> borderline discriminatory statement I do not like to see professionals
> in any biological or botanical fields think or say.  Shutting out any
> private collectors from making contributions towards a better
> understanding of the world of  entomology or botany is a travesty.  I
> think whoever have these types of negative views about private
> collectors should re-evaluate their own logic.  Private collectors are a
> resource professionals should tap into.
>      Some professionals welcome a chance to view and evaluate a private
> collection containing invaluable biological and distributional
> information relevant to their work.
> In fact; I am preparing a part of my private collection of eucnemid
> beetles to go on loan to a professional working on this group in
> Finland.  I am doing my part to contribute my findings I have in my
> collection for Dr. Muona to evaluate. I am going to write papers for
> publications and putting together a website on eucnemid beetles in the
> future.  This is the contribution of a private collector; working hard
> to get this done without any reliance on government grants funded
> through the taxes we pay.  I don't believe in using tax payers' money to
> work on a group of beetles, people hardly know about.
>    Professionals should in fact rely more on private collections to
> supplement their studies
> on any group.  But, I feel individuals are not as willing to open their
> collections in fear they'll never see their specimens again.  That is a
> chance individuals AND institutions have to take every time a loan is
> processed and sent out.  Individuals have the rights to collect,
> maintain their collections and contribute to any field of science.  No
> institutions have the rights to take that liberties away from us.
> Cheers,
> Robert L. Otto
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