Customer Spotlight: Labels That Last in Entomology Collections

Thanks to our relationship with the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) and working with several different types of museums such as the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University, word is getting out about the variety of museum label products Electronic Imaging has to solve tough archival applications.

One of our customers is a major West Coast University known for its Museum of Entomology. (If you aren’t familiar with Entomology…this is the study of terrestrial (land-based) arthropods, commonly known as insects or bugs.) This museum houses an impressive research collection of over 5 million arthropods, containing specimens from the Western Hemisphere along the eastern Pacific Rim, including California, Mexico, Central America, and the islands of the central Pacific. Their work involves research documentation, teaching, and an outreach program in arthropod biology.

An obvious question arises: how does a museum like this keep track of all their insects, especially when some require special storage conditions? Their facility houses an impressive pinned collection of insects as well as a large library of microscope slides kept in insect drawers and fluid collections stored in jars. They also preserve specimens in envelops and Riker mount displays.

When they came  to EIM, they needed a solution for their slide and jar collections. We provided them with our XyResist® 626 White Polyester labels, cut in different sizes to fit on glass slides, jars and drawers. Since many of the museum’s specimens have to be preserved in alcohol, this XyResist® product was the perfect choice because it is designed to handle exposure to some of the harshest laboratory chemicals. Its high-performance adhesive bonds well to textured and rounded surfaces, as well as to high- and low-surface-energy plastics and glass, such as test tubes, vials and microscopic slides. Thanks to special chemical-resistant inks, we supply them with durable labels printed with 2D DataMatrix and QR barcodes to make their specimen labeling quick and easy.
In this case, the durability and chemical resistance of labels was more important than whether the labels had archival, acid-free characteristics. In other museums, we see the need for specimen labels that hold up in long-term cryogenic storage, and once again, EIM has the right materials. No matter what type of museum or archival project you have, EIM has your specimen identification solutions!

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