The ARC gets needed renovations

In 2008, through the generous allocation of funds by the Michigan Agriculture Experiment Station, Department of Entomology, and the ARC Endowment fund, nearly $50,000 was received for the renovation of new space.

In 2008, through the generous allocation of funds by the Michigan Agriculture Experiment Station, Department of Entomology, and the ARC Endowment fund, nearly $50,000 was received for the renovation of new space (rooms 450 and 451) and the acquisition of 14 cabinets and 190 drawers. The physical renovations included removing old carpeting, replacing the floor tiles and painting two rooms. The new storage has allowed us to move the Coleoptera and Hymenoptera collections (~140,000 specimens) into these rooms, and parts of the Lepidoptera Collection out of a hallway. Hence, through rearrangement of drawers and cabinets, we have nearly preserved the entire collection with one reliable barrier (either housed in a new cabinet or new drawer) and allowed for much needed collection expansion.

Coleoptera Room (450)

Coleoptera collection was formerly housed in the old floor-to-ceiling cabinetry in the main collection spaces in Room 454. All space in those cabinets was utilized with no possible expansion of the collection. Cabinetry formerly used to house the butterflies in the hallway as well as the purchase of 14 new 48-drawer cabinets allowed us to move the entire beetle collection into room 450. The 32 existing cabinets will hold 1440 drawers, resulting in an increase of 276 drawer spaces for expansion. There is still room for 4 additonal 48-drawer cabinets in the room for a future expansion of 192 additional drawers.

Room 450

Curation of parts of the Coleoptera collection has been ongoing since 1999, but curation has been greatly hampered by lack of space for expansion. The new facilites and additional cabinets will now allow us to continue with significant curation efforts of the beetles as a whole, and allow for incorporation of large numbers of Scolytinae expected to be added from Dr. Cognato's research. Most of the beetle collection will still be housed in their current, older, assorted-size drawers, However, some of these drawers are too tall or wide to fit into the newer cabinets.This has necessitated cutting down the lids on many, and sides on a few drawers with a table saw to allow them to fit. Eventually as funding permits, we will replace all these older drawers with new, standard-size Cornell drawers.

Room 450

A small side closet to room 450 will house the Coleoptera library. The Coleoptera literature was moved from the main museum library in room 401 to the Coleoptera room, making it more convenient to researchers. A microscope and illuminator are already set up on one of the benches in the room, and a future computer workstation is planned. This room is air-conditioned, making work there much easier than in the main collection room, which lacks air-conditioning.

The diagram below shows the floor layout for room 450, with existing cabinetry in red, and table/bench workspace in blue. The Coleoptera library is in the small narrow closet to the extreme left.

Floor map of Room 450
Room 450

Hymenoptera Room (451)

The Hymenoptea room was also renovated similar to the Coleoptera room. Parts of the the Hymenoptera collection were formerly housed in the library (401), room 401A, and the museum hallway. The renovation of room 451 has allowed us to consolidate the entire Hymenoptera collection into one location. The collection space is currently filled with the equivalent of 18 newer cabinets holding 720 drawers, and 9 older cabinets holding 354 drawers for a total of 1074. This has allowed for 185 drawer spaces for expansion with the existing mix of cabinets. We hope to replace the 9 older cabinets with new 48-drawer cabinets at our next funded opportunity, which would increase expansion space by an additional 78 drawers.

Room 451
Room 451

In addition, the adjunct curator office space was moved from cubicles in room 450 into a back alcove area of room 451. The adjunct spaces include 4 desks and a large work table. In additon, there is a work bench adjacent to the cabinets in the collection area for future microscope and computer work stations. This room is also air conditioned. The diagram at below right shows the floor plan with adjunct office at the top, newer cabinetry in red, older cabinetry in green and bench/desk space in blue. A small storage closet for supplies or equipment is at the lower right. 

Room 451 Room 451 Floor map Room 451
Room 451 (Hymenoptera, Adjunct's Area, Floor Plan)

The Main Collection Room (454), and adjacent hallway.

Removing the beetle collection to room 450, opened up sufficient space in the main collection room to move all the butterflies, formerly in locked cabients in the hallway, into the floor-to-ceiling older cabinetry in the main collection space. The entire Lepidoptera collection will be rearranged to a modern phylogenetic family arrangement in the near future. The Lepidoptera collection is heavily accessed, so it will be kept in the lower levels of the cabinetry (bottom 16 drawers) to allow access without ladders. The Lepidoptera collection will gain significant expansion space with this new arrangement, and will allow the eventual incorpotration of the recently acquired Perona Collection, and the expected Nielsen and Metzler collections. The pinned collections of Orthoptera, Odonata, Neuroptera, and various minor orders will be moved to the upper levels (top 8 rows) since they are accessd less freqeuntly. The Hemiptera Collection (including Homoptera) will remain in 3 rows of cabinets to themselves at one end of the room. Expansion space has also increased for all these other orders. Much of the Lepidoptera collection is already housed in new drawers for one level of protection, but the Hemiptera and minor orders need to be housed in new drawers to gain this same level of protection. Eventually, granted sufficient funding, we will replace all the old built-in cabinets in room 454 with new 48-drawer cabinents and the entire collection with new drawers for secure long-term protection.

The incorporation of the Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera collections into new space, has resulted in most of the cabinetry being removed from the main hallway. Cabinetry in this hallway needed to be locked for security reasons, and there was no nearby workspace, which made access and curation difficult. Currently 14 cabinets holding the alcohol collection remain in this hallway, but we soon hope to have them moved into room 452 pending some minor renovations.

Diptera Room (401A)

Removal of parts of the Hymenoptera collection from 401A to 451, has allowed for significant expansion of the Diptera Collection, as well as storage space for the student voucher collections, research voucher collections and miscellaneous drawers of specimens that need curation. The cabinets in this room are of a newer vintage that provide adequate protection to specimens still housed in older drawers. The Perona collection is also currently stored in this room. However, there is sufficient floor space to add up to 12 new 48-drawer cabinets into this room for future collection expansion when needed.

Did you find this article useful?

You Might Also Be Interested In