Collection moving day


As I mentioned in the previous post, we received the Parshall Butterfly Collection on October 15th. Here’s a quick account of the events of that day as I remember them.

It was a splendid Autumn day: dry, sunny, and cool.  Great weather to move an insect collection!  By the time I arrived at the Triplehorn collection (8:15 AM or so), Sara, Riley, KatherineB and Huayan were already there. Matt arrived right after I did.  Almost immediately after that Matt and Norman left to go pick up the 17-ft rental truck that we had reserved for the occasion. We decided on this size truck after calculating the total cabinet footprint of the Parshall collection. We also reserved a bunch of moving blankets (that’s what they are called) to serve as padding and protection for the cabinets.

When Cody arrived, we loaded ‘Dale’ (that’s what we call our heavy duty hand truck) plus all the other supplies we thought we were going to need (bubble wrap, packing tape, cardboard boxes, box cutters, scissors, rope, king size markers, plastic bags) and rolled away. Sara stayed behind to hold the fort and to get the home team ready for the unloading of the Parshall collection when we got back.

Riley, KatherineB, Cody, Huayan, and I arrived at Dave Parshall’s house a little before 10 AM. Norman and Matt had just arrived with the (large!) moving truck.  Dave was waiting at the door. He was excited to pass the collection on to us, but understandably sad to part with it. We got right to work.

Splendid day to move an insect collection.

Splendid day to move an insect collection.

The collection was in a dedicated room up two flights of carpeted stairs — they did not look as steep and narrow the first time I was there. Oh, well.

The pinned specimens were stored in two ways: 1) in drawers inside (three different size) cabinets and 2) in regular and large size Schmidt boxes (wood boxes with hinges and tight-fitting lids).

The papered specimens were stored in miscellaneous boxes that were already packed in large cardboard boxes. We started by moving those boxes downstairs and out of our way.  Next, KatherineB, Riley and I started preparing the Schmidt boxes for transportation. I’ll only say this: that process involved lots of bubble wrap and shrink wrap.

Meanwhile, Matt, Norman, Huayan, and Cody started moving the cabinets down the two flights of stairs — the carpet helped!

The two groups worked quickly and efficiently. By 1 PM we had the collection safely packed into the truck, which, by the way, was full almost to the door.

Before heading back we took a well-deserved lunch break at this small (and great) Greek restaurant located on a strip mall right across the street from Dave’s house — a sweet find.

Tummies full, we drove back to the Museum and got there around 2 PM. Our home crew (Sara, Lauralee, Cherokee, Alex, Gisele, Zach, and KatherineN) was ready to help unload the truck. Together we moved everything safely and in record time. By 3:00 PM the Parshall Butterfly Collection was neatly stored in our temporary quarantine area. The freezing process was scheduled to commence the next week.

A quick peak at the collection:

I went around opening random cabinets and boxes for a first view of the collection. Here’s some of what I saw:


Big thanks to our dedicated, skillful and overall amazing undergraduate curatorial assistants: Matt Elder, Riley Gott, Katherine Beigel, Cody Cardenas, Zach Hunt, who came in during their Fall Break to help with the move.  They worked long hours and could not have been more professional! Thanks also to our fantastic interns and volunteers: Alex DeMilto, Cherokee Hill-Read, and Lauralee Thompson, who generously give their time, knowledge and enthusiasm to the benefit of the collection. A special thank you to the graduate students in the Johnson lab: Huayan Chen, Gisele da Silva Katherine Nesheim, who put their own research aside for a day to provide support to the staff of the collection during this move. Finally, thanks to Sara Hemly, our Curatorial Technician, for her always efficient work.


About the Author: Dr. Luciana Musetti is an Entomologist and Curator of the (now significantly larger and more valuable) C. A. Triplehorn Insect Collection at The Ohio State University.


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