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A recent symposium on the “museum preservation environment” including temperature and humidity 

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Michael Branstetter
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2020 1:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Optimal Humidity for Insect Collections

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Dear ECNers,

What is the optimal humidity level for insect collections, assuming one goal is to preserve DNA over the long-term?

Our USDA-ARS Bee collection in Logan, UT is renovating a new collection space and we are trying to determine if installing a dehumidifier would be a good idea or not. We've been told that the space should have 20-40% humidity most of the time, but it could spike to just over 50% during certain periods if we do not install a dehumidifier. Utah is generally very dry so I am not too concerned, but I am generally interested in knowing what the agreed upon optimum should be. Also, could it be detrimental to specimens to go too low?

If there are any publications, websites, or previous listserv threads that discuss this issue, I am interested.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Dr. Michael Branstetter
Research Entomologist
USDA, Agricultural Research Service
Pollinating Insects – Biology, Management & Systematics Research Unit
Utah State University, 5310 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-5310
Office: (435) 797-2588
Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>