University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

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Collections :: Facilities

The Insect Division occupies permanent space on the ground, first and second floors of the Ruthven Museums building. Our collections are for research purposes. Visitors -- people that are using the collections and facilities for research are welcome, but as always, we need to be contacted in advance.

We have had recent numerous requests for tours from school groups. Unfortunately, we house a research collection, not an exhibit-oriented collection, and do not have the space nor staff to deal with school tours. Therefore, we are unable to accommodate school groups. If your school group wishes to see live and preserved insects, The Bug House at Michigan State University is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It caters to K-12 groups and is an excellent facility.

collection facilities

Visitors from MSU at work in our collection in 2003.

Most of the space devoted to the ranges and several offices were renovated during 1993-1994 and in 1999. There is about 4800 sq. feet devoted to collection space, 1500 for offices, 1500 for laboratory, 600 for library, and 350 for specimen preparation. In addition to the space described above, the Insect Division has access to several shared facilities within the Museum of Zoology. These include a fully equipped molecular systematics laboratory complex, a cytogenetics laboratory, a centralized Museum library.

Live Room
The Division maintains a live rearing facility in on the ground floor of the museum. Refrigerator-sized incubators allow rearing of mites and other arthropods under a variety of controlled environmental conditions, while screen cages provide larger rearing and maintenance facilities at ambient room conditions. This room also houses Berlese funnels for extracting microarthropods and includes some work and storage space.

Library Facilities
The Insect Division library contains two separate collections: holdings catalogued and maintained by the University of Michigan Library system, and books and reprints which are the property of the Division. Room 2090 houses the Insect Division library, one of six divisional libraries in the museum maintained by the library system. A central museum library, also on the second floor of the building, contains more general reference materials and space for library staff. Over 8700 volumes dealing directly with arthropods are housed in room 2090 which is directly adjacent to the collections.

The entire catalogued UM library holdings can be accessed by any computer over the university's MIRLYN on-line catalogue. In addition to the catalogued volumes in the university library system, the Division maintains specialized libraries associated with the principal collections.

The Orthoptera library, largely accumulated by T.H. Hubbell, contains originals and photocopies of most of the publications dealing with saltatorial Orthoptera, and indexes to the original species descriptions of most Orthoptera. The holdings of this library have been entered in a database to facilitate use of this library and to allow orthopterists from outside the museum to browse its holdings.

The Odonata library also contains an extensive collection of publications. This collection began with the gift of the E.B. Williamson collection and library in the 1930's. The addition of the C.H. Kennedy Odonata collection and library in the 1950's, and the subsequent maintenance and addition of reprints and monographs by former adjunct curator Leonora Gloyd make this library the most complete in the country. A similar computerized catalogue will be developed for the Odonata library.

Finally, a catalogue has already been completed for the approximately 1,100 reprints dealing with the Cicadidae.