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The cabinets have arrived!!

November 17th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

IMG_1241I have just spent a really fun day with 2 friends of mine, Becca & John, driving up to the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London to pick up the OPAL-funded insect cabinets!! :D Max & Howard were away in Peru on a NHM jolly but Paul Brown stood in for them and looked after us very well.

C&D had delivered the cabinets in the previous week and they were there ready for us to collect on arrival. Sadly the supply of drawers had temporarily dried up and the new unit-trays still hadn’t arrived from the suppliers so I can’t fit-out the second cabinet or move my collection over yet but I will collect those in December or January.

Once we had loaded up the van we went off to meet Erica McAlister (Diptera curator) & Silvio Nihei, a very eminent “tachinid-ologist” who is based in the Sao Paulo University Zoological Museum. Silvio is over here working on the types in the NHM tachinid collection, recording them and selecting material to take back with him to Sao Paulo. I gave him some of my French Guianan specimens and in return he will give back as much information as he can to me. He seemed very impressed with them and thinks that I have a few very interesting things in there – including possibly a new species of Borgmeiermyia! :D

Then after lunch I called in at the Angela Marmont Centre (AMC) to thank Lucy & John at OPAL for their help and funding and let them know how the project was progressing. Lucy showed me round the AMC, which looks like a superb resource for anyone interested in British wildlife and I passed on a few ideas that I have had for the next year’s funding round.

Then we all piled back into the van and came home for a bit of furniture removal, cabinet making & a slap-up curry! The cabinets went together fairly easily with a lot of help from Becca & John and I slotted in the first batch of 20 drawers, stood back and admired them … they look superb!!  :D

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  1. November 18th, 2009 at 17:08 | #1

    Very nice! Can I ask what the dimensions of these canbinets are, and the draws? Are they a ‘standard’ size based on NHM requirements?

  2. November 18th, 2009 at 17:47 | #2

    Ahh, well there is no standard size for insects cabinets – it seems that most museums have chosen to use different widths of drawer and different sizes of unit-tray. The NHM uses a standard that I think also applies to Cardiff museum but both Oxford and Edinburgh use wider drawers … it’s a bit of a nightmare. But, as the NHM was refitting and a selling off a lot of secondhand equipment, I decided to go with their sizes. I haven’t measured all the different permutations but I think the NHM sizes are the same as the normal old-fashioned Hill’s Units.

    But to answer your question my secondhand NHM drawers average (WxDxH) 444 x 442 (465 including brass knob) x 57 mm and the steel cabinets are big enough to take a drawer of 460 x 500 x 60 mm and each cabinet is 536 x 600 x 1185 mm and stands on a 100 mm plinth. You don’t need the plinth but it just lifts it well clear of the floor and makes it look nicer :)

  3. Foxy Pixie
    November 18th, 2009 at 18:23 | #3

    Congratulations! They look very usefull -I like it:)

  4. November 18th, 2009 at 18:27 | #4

    Thanks for the info, Chris. I’m running out of storage fast, and keep putting off making some storage boxes, so although I could make them any size, it’s nice to have some dimensions as a guide, especially if I go the cabinet route instead of seperate boxes.. or both!

  5. November 18th, 2009 at 19:16 | #5

    Well, the big expense is always the drawers (30-quid each secondhand or 50-60 new) so if you can make them yourself then you’ll save a packet. Also, if you go for one of these steel cabinets they are virtually airtight so no pests get in so the quality of the drawers doesn’t have to be very high ;) I have suggested to OPAL that they canvas entomologists and if they get enough interested parties they could order cabinets in bulk to get the big discounts and then give them to recording scheme organizers.

  6. Richard Dickson
    August 4th, 2011 at 20:45 | #6

    I’m very interested to hear how you’ve gone about this, Chris. I’ve recently backed off from ordering a steel cased cabinet with wood drawers from PEL because of their handling, and have adverse feedback from others. May I ask who provided the steel cabinet? Do you know anything about the availability of second-hand Hill’s units, please?

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