Rhagor - Opening our national collections

Building the most important Welsh insect collection in Britain

The death of Joan Morgan, in Bangor in 1998, ended a remarkable life in entomology [the study of insects] and resulted in a major acquisition of more than 50,000 specimens for Amgueddfa Cymru.

[image: Mike Wilson, head of entomology at Amgueddfa Cymru inspecting the Bangor collection]

Mike Wilson, head of entomology at Amgueddfa Cymru inspecting the Bangor collection

Changes to teaching in British universities over the last thirty years has resulted in many teaching collections being gradually broken up or discarded.

Sometimes, these important university teaching collections have been built up over many years by dedicated individuals interested in teaching and research.

Joan Morgan

Joan Morgan moved to Bangor in 1953, teaching full-time at the University College, Bangor. For over forty years she was an enthusiastic field worker, collecting thousands of specimens, particularly from north Wales, building up an impressive insect collection at the university.

The collection's importance cannot be over-emphasized. It provides evidence of many species at many locations, along with reference material and around 60,000 card based records.

On retirement, Joan Morgan continued to maintain and add to the collection. After her death, the college agreed that the collection should be transferred to Amgueddfa Cymru.

The collection contains around 50,000 specimens, mostly British, and covers all groups of insects, including an excellent representation of specimens from north Wales.

After a quarantine period in a freezer the specimens were successfully integrated into the entomology collections at the Museum. This helped the Museum create the most important collection of Welsh insects in Britain. It is a very valuable resource for research by scientists worldwide.

Article Date: 11 April 2007

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