James Entomological Collection

The M. T. James Entomological Collection houses just over 1.25 million specimens of insects and related arthropods as well as a significant library and collection of photographic slides. While the Collection contains insects from throughout the world, its main concern is the fauna of the Pacific Northwest, especially Washington State. The Collection had its start in the founding days of the University. As the Land Grant institution for the state of Washington, one of the mandates of Washington State University was to serve and support the agricultural community. A collection of insects allowed for more efficient identifications and helped educate generations of students. The Collection still contains some of those first specimens; many are labeled "Washington Territory" and were collected before the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The Collection has grown significantly over the years and continues to do so. Its value as a resource to the local and international entomological communities is stronger today than ever. Between 10,000 and 30,000 specimens are added annually to the Collection as well as significant library holdings. The James Collection is consistently ranked as one of the top 15 university collections in the United States.

The James Collection maintains a large holding of type specimens. The type collection is world-wide in scope with approximately 50% of the material from outside of the northwest. The James Collection serves as a voucher repository for materials from graduate student studies, taxonomic studies conducted by Collection staff and others using our material, and for specimens from the economically oriented studies of our research personnel. The Collection serves the function of a regional and national resource. Being one of the first established in the Pacific Northwest, it contains a large amount of material of scientific and historical value.

The collection is named for M.T. James, a prominent WSU entomologist who died in 1982. Download more about M.T. James, including a list of his publications, here.

For tours, loans, and information, please contact museum personnel.


Please direct all comments about these web pages to Chris Looney.