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Beetle blog

1 Post tagged with the imperial tag



As I promised, we have over two hundred years of stories to share with you about beetles, collecting and general shenanigans here at the Natural History Museum. Here is one such tale:


In a news month that sees £53 million being paid for a Chinese vase found in a house clearance in Pinner, perhaps we have all looked a bit closer at what might be lurking at the bottom of a cupboard, in the attic or the cellar...


One such Coleopterist did just that, but perhaps was a little disappointed to find, not a priceless Ming vase, or a jewel to rival the Hope diamond, sadly no, rather a collection of beetles from an Imperial College 1960 expedition to Ghana!


This expedition in 1960 yielded a fantastic collection of beetles, which, donated by the coleopterist (who shall remain nameless)  was accessioned into the Museum's collection in 1967. 1967! Some years later, no doubt whilst searching for some suitable pieces to flog on Cash in the Attic, found some long forgotten collecting boxes under his bed...


This week the collection is reunited in its entirety and we are now in the process of very meticulously placing accession labels on each specimen from 1967!


Here's one of our excellent volunteers, Gabrielle, moving the beetles from their original collecting boxes to unit trays ready for incorporation into the main collection, and just one of the collecting boxes, in very good condition.

gabrielle.jpgThe moral is: you can't put a price on beetles!



okay ghana 005.jpg



Member since: Sep 15, 2009

I'm Beulah Garner, one of the curators of Coleoptera in the Entomology department. The Museum's collection of beetles is housed in 22,000 drawers, holding approximately 9,000,000 specimens. This little collection keeps us quite busy!

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