The primary long range goals of the IRC are to: 1) to make quality research material available from Wisconsin and Great Lakes insect fauna, 2) be a depository for voucher specimens of research done in the department and 3) support educational programs by developing, housing and curating teaching collections, display packages, exhibit areas and portable exhibit materials for use in a variety of campus and public education programs.
Our acquisition policy reflects these goals. Additional material is being added to the collection in accordance with three priorities. Top priority is given to material from Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Region especially if it is from a historically poorly collected habitat or a designated “State Scientific Area.” Secondary priority is associated with voucher specimens from research done in the department or state agencies such as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Tertiary priority is assigned to materials of use for instructional purposes.
In accordance with our acquisition priorities, the departmental Museum Committee either accepts donations and other acquisitions or, in a few cases, make recommendations to the faculty as a whole for departmental approval. Ownership of items given to the collection must transfer to the IRC and the University of Wisconsin, thus making distribution of acquired materials to specialists possible without lengthy negotiations.
Exchanges with other collections are sought as a way to improve our holdings of groups, particularly higher taxa, which may not be strongly represented in the collection or to fill in taxonomic representation in groups we have identified as particular strengths. We have found this to be a cost effective way to acquire new taxa, to promote new interactions with colleagues elsewhere, and to increase our visibility in the systematics and biodiversity communities.