|The systematized collection of WITT Museum harbors now 3 - 3,5 millions specimens in about 20.000 boxes of 52x41cm dimensions. It also contains about 35.000 microscopic samples along with alcohol specimens.|
Families in the Collection can be searched in either
Each family with general information and list of types can be accessed separately.
Families are divided into Rhopalocera (butterflies) and Heterocera (moths). The core of the collection is formed by original research objects of WIIT Museum (see Autobiography Thomas J. WITT): by families grouped in SEITZ (1912-1933) under "Bombyces et Sphinges":
9) Cimeliidae (=Axiidae)
These families are not grouped together any more, being assigned either to Macro- or to Microlepidoptera. Although the collection arrangement now follows mostly the basic work by FLETCHER & NYE (1975 - 1984), changes are also made according to new views on the systematics of the group.
Location of the Collection
WITT Museum has resided in an old apartment and commercial building for about 40 years. Intentions to move in other, more spacious building or to build a special one, have been constantly rejected, since the present location suites well all the requirements. The dry city climate is ideal for conservation. A solid construction of the building allows storing heavy items regardless of the floor (Comprimus system). Corridors and floors, connected by lifts, are such designed, that small transporting cars and automatically elevated platforms can function there without problems. The size of the building makes it quite flexible to fulfill concrete requirements. For instance, thanks to the deep-cooling technique, Museum can now stop using poisonous preservatives – good news for the populated neighborhood. This, in turn, insures, that in case of fire, proper services will be instantly informed. Close position to subway and other public transportation is quite convenient for visitors and researchers.
Material of the collection fills about 20.000 regular boxes of 51x42 cm. They are arranged in two rows by 19 boxes; each row is secured by special locking beams. Shelfs of different dimensions comprise a part of a larger furniture system, which includes the library and which can be fit rationally to different rooms, including LUHE Comprimus system. About 100 items of archive furniture are on the way to be equipped.
Unstudied material for many families is more numerous, than studied one. The share of unprepared material has especially grown up in last years due to the extensive light trapping. This material is stored in paper sacks laid with cotton and thus can be accessed without damaging specimens. Collections, which have undergone multiple freezing, are stored in tight boxes in airproof metal cases.
Proinsecta-System, which has been developed and produced by THOMAS WITT in middle 70th of the last century, is now available for purchase in special stores. By using its system boxes it became possible to manage rationally a large amount of material.
Box with insects contains movable and interchangeable items, so-called system boxes, made of transparent polystyrene and available in three sizes:
Their bottoms are made of white finely porous plastosote, frequently used for pinning insects.
Advantages are obvious. The material studied has to be put in the system box only once. Coming material is arranged in new boxes, which simply have to be positioned in the right place, or in already existing system box. «Pinning to the other place», used earlier, is thus completely abandoned. This prevents from spreading the bugs. It also keeps broken parts, such as antennas and bellies, in the position, where they can be easily associated with the specimen.
Notes to type catalogue
The existing type material is numbered in type catalogue. This system is provided below. The catalogue makes it easier for researches to find necessary specimens. Therefore, it does not always follows strict scientific rules with type citations and other notes.