Museum, University of Nebraska State


Date of this Version



Published by The Association of Systematics Collections. A report to the Association of Systematics Collections by a special committee of systematic biologists (the Belmont Writing Committee), convened 29-30 September and 1 October 1972, by the Smithsonian Institution at its Belmont Estate, Maryland.

December 1973


"America's Systematics Collections: A National Plan'' is a report to the nation's systematics collections community, and includes a National Plan for the recognition and development of systematics coilections as an important national resource in the United States. The report states the goals of the systematics collections commnnity, and documents the importance of systematics coliections to science, society and education. The problems of the systematics collections community are identified and discussed. Recommendations are presented that, if implemented, could permit the systematics coiiections community to achieve its goals; the recommendations are reiterated within a framework of prioritiei. Eitimated new Support required by the systematics coilections community for the next five years is $63,217,920. The Association of Systematics Collections has been charged with distribution and implementation of the National Plan.

This report is addressed principally to systematists concemed with the nature and quality of America's systematics collections as a national resource. The report describes and recommends ways whereby systematists and others responsible for tbe care and management of systematics coiiections can develop their collections into a more effective resource responsive to the needs of science, applied science and society. As part of a national effort to this end by concerned systematists, appropriate steps should be taken to enlist the aid of the public and agencies of the public to bring about major improvements in financial support for collections.

During the past several years, there has been growing concern about systematics collections, their condition, their capacities to provide an increasingly diverse spectrum of Services, and the quality of their essential partnership with systematic biology. This report is the outgrowth of a number of previous studies and reports concerning the present status of systematics collections and their prospects for the future.

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