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The current state of the Albert J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection. Anthony Cognato and Gary Parsons Department of Entomology Michigan State University. History: The Beginning. 1867 Albert J. Cook established the Collection of Insects at Michigan Agricultural College 1878
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Albert J. Cook Arthropod Research
Anthony Cognato and Gary Parsons
Department of Entomology
Michigan State University
1867 Albert J. Cook established the Collection of Insects
at Michigan Agricultural College
Nearly 1,200 locally-collected specimens used primarily for teaching
U.S. Senator James McMillan purchased and donated Fred Tepper
(12,000 moths) and Austin collections (40,000 beetles) and
donated his collection with many types.
Additional collections from
Charles V. Riley- Hemiptera
American Museum of Natural History- Microlepidoptera
Dr. Lawrence Bruner - Orthoptera
Dr. Eugene Davenport- Lepidoptera
Mr. Rufus H. Pettit, Director (1897-1930) and Ms. Eugenia McDaniel
Addition of economically important insects.
Transfer of collection from College Museum to the Department of
The Collection contained more than 100,000 specimens
representing 350 families and 15,000 species.
1948 move into new Natural Science Building complete with expansion
1952 Dr. Roland Fischer appointed as Curator.
1950-1988 Significant growth:
-Dr. Robert Dreisbach Collection 250,000 Michigan insects
-Various collections of 20,000 Michigan Moths
-Gunnar Hjegaard collection of 8,000 Danish moths
-William C. Stehr collection of 7,000 coccinellid and carabid beetles
Growth of international holdings:
- Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Africa, and India
-No space to expand.
-1948 Vintage cabinets and oversized drawers
-80% of specimens in hard bottom trays
-Open storage and past
-Overall curation of the ARC was
rated 5 on the McGinley scale
- Low rate of loans and vistors
Renewed university support of the collection:
Continued support of the full-time collection manager position and
*Remove outdated and damaged storage.
*Renovate new space. Install new cabinets, drawers and trays.
*Update nomenclature for all species names in the collection,
electronically record names, numbers of specimens
and broad geographic
*Construct a data base using Specify of the above information
and publicize it on ARC’s website and through GBIF.
NSF-BRC via the ARRA
installation of new storage thus proving the entire collection with one reliable layer of protection against insect collection pests.
transferred ~650,000 Coleoptera and Hymenoptera specimens into new trays (>35,000) thus resulting in half of the pinned collection curated to modern standards.
installed Specify v5 software on our server and completed web-accessible database of species holdings which includes ~35,000 verified species names.
Our activities have also gone beyond the objectives of the original proposal. We have updated our database to Specify v6 and expanded it to include specimen level data. It currently holds over 10,000 specimens records.
In addition, ~$140,000 was spent on storage supplied by American companies thus holding true to the intent of the ARRA.
Although some scoffed at this productivity.
2011-2012: Continued curating the collection to modern standards.
Hemiptera in new trays with headers.
Spiders in new vials with updated nomenclature. ~17,000 determined specimens and 300 vials of undetermined specimens.
Renovations to the collection were accomplished with the help of many.
Undergraduate student employees:
Chris Adams, Nick Brac, Eric Glabraith, Coral Hahn-Townsend, Ashely Leach, Emily Maher, Diana Miller, Steve Muresan, PatricaSamota
Bernice DeMarco, Stephanie Dole, Jiri Hulcr, Rachel Olson, Aaron Smith, Sarah Smith
Elwin Evans, John Fricke, Ralph Gorton, Bob Kriegel, Mo Nielsen, Mike Philip, Ron Priest, Dan Swanson, Bill Taft, Frank West