University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

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The new fluid collection facility


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About five million specimens from the U-M Museum of Zoology's "wet" collection -- animals preserved in alcohol inside various containers -- are moving from the Ruthven Museums Building on central campus to a new off-campus storage facility.

“This move is designed to update the placement of all ethanol collections. Basic standards, safety codes for storage of flammable material has changed comprehensively,” said Diarmaid Ó Foighil, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and director and curator of the Museum of Zoology. “The storage facilities of Ruthven no longer meet code. The university has invested very heavily in upgrading this facility on Varsity Drive.”

The new facility at Varsity Drive, adjoining the U-M Herbarium, has been designed and built to safely store and protect the collection. The budget for the project, which includes building the new storage facility, moving the collection and other selected renovations, is $20 million.

View a video produced by the U-M News Service, which was featured on the U-M Gateway and is currently on the News Service home page.