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Empire & Industry

The Victorian Museum

Butterfly Collection


Many early museums were set up as places of study by groups and societies who shared common interests. Academics and ramblers groups interested in studying natural history established many fine collections throughout the country. Animal and insect specimen collection helps to provide scientists with a snapshot of a species at a particular moment in time. Back then, specimens like these would have helped scientists to identify a species and determine phenotypes (characteristic of a species) before colour photographs were accessible.  Today, collections such as these butterflies are useful tools for the scientific community for researching biodiversity, and help conservationists better understand ways to preserve a species.


Nowadays, there are stringent ethical practices in place for scientists wishing to capture a specimen. This is in order to preserve population numbers and make sure that there is no great harm made to the species or its habitat, and it is only done when vital.

The Dick Institute
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East Ayrshire Council

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