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History of the card index

The NHM's card index to the names of world Lepidoptera was originally constructed by staff of the Entomology Department's Indexing Section who amalgamated a number of smaller indexes which had been developed by NHM lepidopterists to assist with their work. The Indexing Section (which was headed initially by Mr R. J. Collins) operated between about 1955 and 1981 and during this period many of the old index cards were retyped and the information on them was updated and checked (Nye, 1975). The staff also actively scanned biological journals, nomenclatural catalogues, the Zoological Record etc and added new cards whenever they found newly published scientific names, or names which had previously been missed. Thanks to their work the index contains the majority of Lepidoptera names published up until 1981. Since 1981 some parts of the index have been maintained and updated by NHM lepidopterists, eg the superfamilies Alucitoidea, Hyblaeoidea, Pterophoroidea, Pyraloidea, Simaethistoidea, Thyridoidea and Whalleyanoidea by Michael Shaffer, and Tortricoidea by Kevin Tuck. These workers have also incorporated much scientifically important unpublished information into the index, especially new genus/species combinations and new synonymies.

Viadocs projectWritten by George Beccaloni Feb. 2003. Last updated 21-May-2004