airtight storage how?

Will Pratt prattw at
Mon Oct 12 12:12:22 EDT 1998

Liz Day wrote:
> Is there a good way to seal the collection so that none of the napthalene
> fumes come out?  (My interpretation of this is, if you can't smell the
> mothballs, then no fumes are coming out worth worrying about.)
> The collection is housed in about 8 or 10 of those little museum trays
> with the styrofoam in the bottom, the ones that fit inside Cornell
> drawers, but there are no Cornell drawers.  <snip>


Assuming that your trays are 4 3/8" by 5 5/16", one Cornell drawer would
hold eight of them.  Two would give you room to grow.  My Bioquip
catalog quotes a price of $37.00 each for the plain version.  If you are
reasonably handy with tools, you can buy a kit to build 6 of them, with
hardboard bottoms, for $90.  You have to get the glass locally, which
would add about $5 each to the cost.  It's possible to put together one
at a time, and store the rest in a closet.

Bioquip also sells folding cardboard storage boxes, which can be made
airtight (almost) by doing a little extra work on the corners with
aquarium sealer, and gluing felt strips to the inside of the lids.  The
boxes are 9" x 13" and sell for $40 a dozen, shipped flat.  You might
also look for old silverware cases at thrift store, strip out the guts
and use those.  And for minimal cost, with some sacrifice of
convenience, cover the individual trays with saranwrap and pin a
naphalene cone into each one.


William L. Pratt, Ph.D., Curator of Invertebrates, Barrick Museum
Mail Stop 4012, Univ. Nevada, Las Vegas 89154-4012
(702) 895-1403; Fax (702) 895-3094; prattw at

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