Specimen Labels

Eric or Pat Metzler spruance at infinet.com
Wed Sep 15 09:20:44 EDT 1999

Hi all,

Here is one more vote for more than one label.  The uppermost label, the
one that is closest to the specimen and least apt to be removed, is the
one with the collection data: date, place, and collector.  The collector
is the authority for the data and it is most important.  The name of the
collector gives credibility for the rest of the data, and as Ken said, I
have tracked down several dubious records based on the identity of the
collector.  The reason you want the date/locality label on top is so it
is not removed, because without the date/locality label, the scientific
value of the specimen is 'lost.'

When the name of the bug is on the same label as the date/locality, a
person is required to create a new label each time the name of the bug
changes.  A new label creates opportunities for making mistakes when a
person copies over the information to the new label.

Other labels, such as rearing data and other details can go be below the
date/locality label.  You can put on as many labels as you can
comfortably use.  The bottom label, the one most apt to change, is the
label with the name of the specimen.

When making labels, I use 3.5 type.  Use a sans serif font (such as
Arial thin or Univerisal) and use the special formatting characters of
your softward to increase the space between each letter (I use 110%). 
This trick, not my own invention, makes a smaller font just as easy to
read as a larger font, and you can reduce the size of the piece of
paper.  My vision, corrected to 20/20, reads the 110% sans serif font
just fine.  Serif fonts really creates confusion at small sizes.

Best wishes to all,


Alan and Jeri Coates wrote:
> We would be interested to hear your thoughts on what information should be
> displayed on labels pinned with specimens in a collection. We are about to
> attack our collection (of moths) and are wondering which labeling technique to
> adopt.

Eric H. Metzler
1241 Kildale Sq. N.
Columbus Ohio 43229-1306 USA
spruance at infinet.com
614 888 3642

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