Entomology, Department of


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Ratcliffe, B. C. 2018. U.S. National Collection of Scarabs at UNSM. The Mammoth (University of Nebraska State Museum), Winter 2018: 10-11.


Copyright © 2018 B. C. Ratcliffe.


The Department of Entomology of the Smithsonian Institution (SI) National Museum of Natural History granted an Offsite Collection Enhancement Pogram (OEP) to the State Museum at the University of Nebraska (UNSM). TheOEP consists of the renewable ten-year loan of a large collection which is bound to a detailed, 19 point Memorandum of Understanding between both parties and signed off institutionally by Museum Directors. The basic idea is that if part of the U.S. National Collection has no ongoing resident active research and there exists a center of expertise at another institution, it is most prudent to allow this off-site center (under the direction of an off-site curator) to keep the national collection of a particular group for an agreed-upon amount of time in order to improve/enhance the collection scientifically and physically as well as for use by the off-site curator, their students, and colleagues U.S. National Collection of Scarabs at UNSM — a win-win situation. The off-site curator then hosts visitors to the collection, makes loans from the SI material, and annually reports such activities to the Chair of the Department of Entomology at the Smithsonian Institution. Ultimately the collection is returned to the Smithsonian greatly improved and some reciprocal exchange of specimens occurs.

“The 1999 OEP to the University of Nebraska State Museum is for the Pleurostict Scarabs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) involving over 300,000 specimens from around the world,” said David Furth, SI Collections Manager. “It has probably been the most effective and successful OEP to date. It has also fostered grants and new collections equipment for UNSM.”

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