Pondering Decision where to Donate Collection Nov 6, 2020 6:56:35 GMT -8
Post by exoticimports on Nov 6, 2020 6:56:35 GMT -8
Probably about five years from now we'll be moving, and I have no intention of taking nor continuing to curate a specimen collection.
Already, I've donated thousands of specimens, with repositories including Smithsonian, AMNH, BMNH, Carnegie, and others. But thousands remain, and will need a good home.
My considerations are:
1. Ease of disposal
2. Reward for support
3. Best allocation
4. Longevity of collection
EASE OF DISPOSAL
Already, Smithsonian's answer was effectively "We'd love it! We'll come get it!" I like that answer. However, some of the other factors (below) would require far more complicated and expensive dispersion.
REWARD FOR SUPPORT
I am inclined to give preferential treatment to those who've supported me, directly or indirectly. Specifically, those who participate here. By contrast, I fulfilled a request for a very rare specimen to a researcher at AMNH, and never got even a thank you. And Bishop (where a good argument can be made much of it belongs) can kiss my back end.
Chris inadvertently made a good point recently: certain organizations have specific focus. Is the collection best broken up, and portions sent to focus groups? With a known beetle fanatic at Carnegie, perhaps they should "go to a good home." But see "Ease of Disposal."
I'm not a fan of donating to small museums or universities. I'm about to start restoration of a second small (14,000 specimen) collection at a university. They don't have the staff, money, or generally the interest to curate a collection the way it should be done.
During the Olympics in Berlin in 1936 nobody thought the city would soon be in ashes. Ditto Sarajevo in 1992. The larger the city, the more likely a major conflict will result in total destruction.
Now, for the first time in USA, we have violent destruction of facilities in urban areas. Paris has come to USA. While currently the focus is on government and law enforcement, it's not a far stretch nor distance to the museums (now often viewed as racists, etc.) And on that topic, museums are purging collections of various focus to satisfy social dementia and fit a narrative.
To ensure survivability of a collection (or anything else) typically the best approach is distribution- spread it around, something will survive. In that case, the best approach may be to distribute to PRIVATE entomologists rather than urban facilities. But again, see "Ease of Disposal."
So all that said, your views and opinions are highly welcomed.