Thanks all for comments on storage. I am happy to hear of the stability of screw cap vials. I’m a long time user of wet collections and appreciate individually mobile vials. I worked with the Cal Acad collection in the past. It is nicely managed and works for the space. As a user I prefer individual vials. It is too bad patent lip stoppers aren’t available anymore, but 4 dram screw caps are quick to work with in revisionary work. I’m glad that long term evaporation from these vials isn’t listed as greater than patent lips. Thanks. Riley

Dr. C. Riley Nelson
Professor of Biology, General Education Professor
and Alcuin Teaching Fellow
Department of Biology, 2119 LSB
and M. L. Bean Museum
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602  USA
office: 801-422-1345
mobile: 801-822-2442
fax: 801-422-0004
email: [log in to unmask]<applewebdata:[log in to unmask]>
Keep asking what, how, and why

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Mark O'Brien <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Mark O'Brien <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 10:46 AM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: bail top vs screw top

I echo what Ed said.  Nearly 20 years ago, we started switching and changing over from the 3 dram patent-lip vials with stoppers to the 4 dram vials with phenolic caps and polyseal cone liners.  While we have a few large bail-top mason jars with vials inside, those are collections that contain the vouchers for a few specific projects.  We have a few dozen screw-top jars with shell vials that I have to return to a museum, and due to the shipping restraints, placing the cotton-plugged individual vials inside heat-sealed plastic will be a big PITA. That would not be the case if they were inside screw-top vials.


On Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 9:24 AM, Dewalt, R Edward <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:

Good question. My responses are from my experience—I don’t know of papers on the subject.

Cons are mostly for folks working with the specimens. If your material does not have much traffic, it makes little difference. Personally, as one who works with lots of wet specimens (mostly aquatic insects), I dislike this storage, but can see why some would adopt it. Consequently, my list of cons is a little longer, others may weigh in with more pros.

Cons (some, may be others)

1.      loaning material is more difficult, sometimes collection managers will have to remove all in a bail jar to find the one you want

2.      prep time for loans is greater, need to be put in other storage for mailing

3.      Specialists visting the collection will likely be annoyed by the storage with this method of storage, it is slow, messy, and cumbersome to work through

4.      digitize the material is physically more difficult because the shell vials will leak during classic type, one-by-one transcription and catalog numbers will be harder to find afterwards

5.      gaskets for these also fail

6.      legs of specimens get tangled in cotton plugs

7.      you may find that you need many jars to separate out specimens, especially if you collection has lots of monotypic genera-just a guess
              Pros (some, others possible)

1.      I agree that this method certainly takes up less space

2.      Double container does minimize risk of seals failing for each shell vial and may reduce amount of evaporated ethanol in a collection space, but I can’t prove it.

3.      Specimens may be easily moved from one storage to another more easily than vial racks or vials in paper boxes

4.      This procedure would allow for more control on the ethanol concentration used

5.      All of us will have to eventually move specimens from patent lip/stoppered vials because there is not a source of high quality stoppers. The ones that are available harden quickly (Neoprene) or leave a red pigment in the alcohol (Latex) (if anyone offers you silicone ones, tell them no thanks—evaporation is problematic). Moving to 3 or 4 dram storage with caps having plastic liners is tedious and costly—but best solution in my opinion. Perhaps bail jars and shell vials are less costly and involve less handling for transfer.

Karen, if any of this is unclear—limited time to answer and lack of give and take—give me a ring.

R. Edward DeWalt
University of Illinois
Prairie Research Institute
Illinois Natural History Survey
1816 S Oak St.
Champaign, IL 61820
217-649-7414<tel:(217)%20649-7414> cell
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Author of Plecoptera Species File

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Karen Wright
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2017 6:26 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: bail top vs screw top

Hi everyone, would the EtOH folks please give me a pros and cons for screw top vs. bail top jars for use with shell vials. Thanks, Karen

Karen W Wright
Assistant Curator
Texas A&M University
Department of Entomology
2475 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-2475



Mark F. O'Brien, Collection Manager

Insect Division, Museum of Zoology

Research Museums Center

The University of Michigan

3600 Varsity Drive

Ann Arbor, MI 48108



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