pun_logo

The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)

You are not logged in.

#1 2010-01-13 17:08:25

malcolmsmart
Committee
Name: Malcolm Smart
From: Wolverhampton
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 395

Dipterists Past

When one examines specimens in old collections, one often comes across labels bearing names (full or abbreviated) which do not correlate with hiostorically or currently prominent Dipterists. This is a shame and, if it does not already exist, I would like to compile a full list of such names with information about those historic British (and perhaps also European Dipterists including details of where their collections are currently stored and where their diaries or specimen catalogues may be found. I would be glad to learn about any existing documents/references which fulfill this function in part or total.

I would like to start with a Syrphid specimen in my own collection which bears the label "Worth, 19.4.37, 233, GW". The specimen came to me from the old London Natural History Society collection when it was disposed of in September 1962.  Who was GW and where did he live/collect? Does anyone have any clues as to whether the place name "Worth" refers to the that near Deal in Kent of the one near Crawley in W. Sussex?

An easier one is perhaps a specimen apparently labelled "sussex, Tilgate Forest, 27.v.56 , B.L.J.B" but the "56" is very indistinct and could easily be read as "17" or something else. I am sure that the B.L.J.B refers to B.L.J. Byerley who was president of the AES 1951-1952 ( http://www.amentsoc.org/about/presidents.html ), but it would be very helpful to me to know the the time span over which he collected.

Can anyone help please?

Offline

 

#2 2010-01-13 18:11:07

Howard Bentley
Committee
Name: Howard Bentley
Registered: 2008-07-07
Posts: 791

Re: Dipterists Past

Hi Malcolm. The following article might provide you with some answers:

Hyatt, K.H., Obituary of Bernard Leonard John Byerley 1913-1995, The London Naturalist, volume 75 (1996) pp.149-151.

I don't have a copy and it's not available online, but the NHM has it and it can be seen there by anyone who asks for it. (Contact Erica?)

Howard.

Offline

 

#3 2010-01-13 19:25:42

adamwright
DF Members
Name: Adam Wright
Registered: 2009-02-12
Posts: 29

Re: Dipterists Past

Hi Malcolm,
I have found the following to be useful with some similar searches:
"A compendium of the biographical literature on deceased entomologists" by Pamela Gilbert. (Although the title on the spine is just "Bibliography of deceased entomologists".).
British Museum publication,1977.
ISBN 0565007866
I don't know whether it is still in print. I do know that I bought it for the Museum library at Coventry when I was Natural History Curator there,and would anticipate that Steve Lane would allow you access to it if you can't find another copy.
Hope this helps,
Adam.

Offline

 

#4 2010-01-14 13:45:31

conopid
DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 701
Website

Re: Dipterists Past

Hi Malcolm,
What a nice idea. I'd be very interested in an account of dipterists past. I thoroughly enjoyed the accounts in the last DD.

I can't help you with your present queries, but I have a series of Tephritidae in my collection (and unfortunately I am completely unable to recall how they came into my possession) collected by someone unknown to me. The collector is R Gabriel and the determiner is S Grove. The specimens were collected in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire in 1991 and determined in 1992. Can anyone throw any light on this? If there is someone out there awaiting the return of the specimens do let me know!

Nigel Jones

Last edited by conopid (2010-01-14 13:50:12)


Nigel Jones
Shropshire

Offline

 

#5 2010-01-14 14:49:04

adamwright
DF Members
Name: Adam Wright
Registered: 2009-02-12
Posts: 29

Re: Dipterists Past

Nigel,
That looks as if it is going to be Ray Gabriel and Simon Grove. Unfortunately I don't have any further details.

Offline

 

#6 2010-01-14 18:42:21

malcolmsmart
Committee
Name: Malcolm Smart
From: Wolverhampton
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 395

Re: Dipterists Past

Thanks for your responses. I'm following up the refences. In the meantime I submit a scan of another data label which someone may be able to help with. I believe that it reads "Old Coulsdon, Surrey, 14.vi.1954, S I Britton". Does anyone recognise the name or offer an alternative reading please?

Malcolm


Uploaded Images

Offline

 

#7 2010-01-14 19:17:02

adamwright
DF Members
Name: Adam Wright
Registered: 2009-02-12
Posts: 29

Re: Dipterists Past

Malcolm,
That is a Harry Britten label. I have seen Hymenoptera specimens from him from the 1940's from Coulsdon. I suspect that there is likely to be an obituary in one of the ento journals.

Offline

 

#8 2010-01-15 15:12:46

Laurence Clemons
DF Members
Name: Laurence Clemons
Registered: 2008-04-02
Posts: 386

Re: Dipterists Past

GW is possibly Gurth Waller, who died in 1984. The bulk of his collection is in Maidstone Museum. In later life he lived in Hythe. His site locations were infuriatingly vague!

Offline

 

#9 2010-01-15 15:55:29

Mark
DF Members
Name: Mark Mitchell
From: Hampshire
Registered: 2008-06-17
Posts: 273

Re: Dipterists Past

Why not put you "hiostorically or currently prominent Dipterists" details on the DF Wiki?

Offline

 

#10 2010-01-15 22:57:29

malcolmsmart
Committee
Name: Malcolm Smart
From: Wolverhampton
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 395

Re: Dipterists Past

It certainly has been my original idea to put it on the DF website eventually (if I can succeed in creating a worthwhile document!!!!!! It is the sort of information that most Dipterists will find themselves wanting a bit of at some time during their studies.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed information so far.
Regards,
Malcolm

Offline

 

#11 2010-01-18 15:05:29

Laurence Clemons
DF Members
Name: Laurence Clemons
Registered: 2008-04-02
Posts: 386

Re: Dipterists Past

Biographical references can be found in the Directory of Deceased Entomologists held at the Royal Entomological Society library.

Offline

 

#12 2010-01-19 01:56:36

falky
Registered user
Name: Steven Falk
From: Kenilworth
Registered: 2009-11-30
Posts: 416

Re: Dipterists Past

Ray Gabriel used to live in Swindon (though he's very much Scottish). Have not heard from him in about 10 years.

Adam, Steve Lane has moved on (almost one year ago now), he works for a Kenilworth-based environmental consultancy, and by sheer coincidence, I was chatting to him on the phone this evening (he's very well and we do some surveys together). Coventry's Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is now without a Keeper of Natural History, which is pretty hard to get one's head around given it was a Centre of Excellence for entomologists for much of the past 30 years. Both Steve Lane and myself are keeping a watching brief on the collections, and the new stores there are extremely good. But it is a sobre reminder that we all need to think very carefully about where we chose to bequeath our collection, as local/county museums are making dramatic changes in their stance to employing specialists (natural historians, let alone entomologists).

Adam, I've been doing loads of survey work in Hampshire and currently writing up a report on New Forest mires (survey work complete) and the Hengistbury to Hythe coastline (progress report). Would you like copies once they are ready? Contact me at stevenfalk@warwickshire.gov.uk.

Cheers, Steven

Offline

 

#13 2010-01-21 01:55:25

Mark
DF Members
Name: Mark Mitchell
From: Hampshire
Registered: 2008-06-17
Posts: 273

Re: Dipterists Past

the wiki is a collaborative site, post what you know, and let others fill in the gaps

Offline

 

#14 2010-01-21 05:55:17

Dark Horse
Registered user
Name: Andy Grayson
From: Kirkbymoorside
Registered: 2009-07-18
Posts: 37

Re: Dipterists Past

Hi Malcolm,

What a splendid idea to consider compiling a list of past [deceased] dipterists.  Such a list would be very useful and interesting to dipterists, curators, researchers, etc.; but unfortunately, by the time it was in publishable form, we would all probably have joined the 'past dipterists' ourselves.  There is a great deal of work involved in adequately compiling such lists, but the results are valuable if they eventually become published.

If you ever want any information on past dipterists from northern England, I can probably help as well as anyone, as I have spent many years researching past literature and collections etc.  Actually, I wish I hadn't just written that; I made myself sound like a 'saddo'.  Anyway, feel free to ask me for any information. 

Within the queries above, you produced a data label which Adam Wright correctly attributed to Harry Britten.  This was Harry Britten [senior] (1870-1954), his son Harry Britten [junior] was also a good naturalist.  I have seen at least one obituary on Harry Britten [senior], but I cannot remember precisely where.  I suspect most of his specimens are in The Manchester Museum, but it is not unusual to find Harry Britten [senior] specimens in other provincial or national museums.  He was prolific as a collector/mounter/labeller of specimens, a sort of 'if it moves, collect it; if it doesn't move, collect it' entomologist.

Offline

 

#15 2010-01-21 13:09:57

chandgnats
Committee
Name: Peter Chandler
Registered: 2008-04-15
Posts: 39

Re: Dipterists Past

Regarding your queries GW is definitely Gurth Waller, who lived at Beckenham until he retired. He attended field meetings from Rogate in 1974 to the early 80s and is portrayed among Austin Brackenbury's slides of field meetings that you processed.

As mentioned by others your Britten label is "H. Britten" but it refers to Harry Britten junior. As was mentioned his father, who was at the Manchester Museum, died in the year that your specimen was collected. Harry junior specialised in tephritids and collected them around Coulsdon and elsewhere in Surrey and Kent. He later moved to Ledbury where he was living when I corresponded with him in 1968. I'm not sure when he died and haven't seen an obituary.

Offline

 

#16 2010-01-21 13:24:22

chandgnats
Committee
Name: Peter Chandler
Registered: 2008-04-15
Posts: 39

Re: Dipterists Past

Further to my previous message Harry Britten junior was born on 28 January 1894 and died in Ledbury in the last quarter of 1976. Possibly somebody at the Hereford Museum might know what happened to his collection.

Offline

 

#17 2010-01-21 16:36:05

Mark
DF Members
Name: Mark Mitchell
From: Hampshire
Registered: 2008-06-17
Posts: 273

Re: Dipterists Past

I have certainly seen a number of H. Britten's Lonchoptera all with dates from the early 30s in the NHM. I am guessing that many others of his Diptera specimens are also there?

Last edited by Mark (2010-01-21 16:36:27)

Offline

 

#18 2010-01-25 18:24:40

conopid
DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 701
Website

Re: Dipterists Past

Did a Google search for Ray Gabriel, and he's lsited as an honorary associate curator for the Hope Entomology Collection, so probably still active?


Nigel Jones
Shropshire

Offline

 

#19 2010-01-26 01:06:08

Mark
DF Members
Name: Mark Mitchell
From: Hampshire
Registered: 2008-06-17
Posts: 273

Re: Dipterists Past

I am guessing one problem with the Bibliography of deceased dipterists is the you have to be dead 1st!

Offline

 

#20 2010-01-26 13:52:47

conopid
DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 701
Website

Re: Dipterists Past

Yes indeed. Perhaps we should all prepare a brief resume of ourselves - families studied, published notes, items, journals etc, places collected, that sort of thing. Might save a lot of work down the line, but suspect most people would be far too modest in their self assessments!

Here's mine for starters:
Nigel Jones
Interests: Syrphidae first and foremost, but also, Dolichopodidae, Larger Brachycera, Conopidae, Lonchaeidae, many Acalypterate families and Tachinidae. 
Collected Worcs 1984-7, Merseyside, north Cheshire and south Lancs 1985-6, Shropshire 1986 - present with forays into Wales, Herefordshire and Worcs.
Published: Titbits in Hoverfly Newsletter. Kept meaning to put items forward for DD but never got organised enough to do so...... roll

Last edited by conopid (2010-01-26 14:01:29)


Nigel Jones
Shropshire

Offline

 

#21 2010-01-26 14:41:06

schultmay
DF Members
Name: Barbara Ismay
Registered: 2008-02-14
Posts: 135

Re: Dipterists Past

Malcolm,
The Deutsches Entomologisches Institut has a lot of information on deceased entomologists, it might be worth asking Frank Menzel for more information. His email address is: fmenzel@senckenberg.de. Also, there is a book with older labels including their handwritings, but I cannot remember where it was published. I believe Darren or Adrian Pont might know more.
Good luck,
Barbara

Offline

 

#22 2010-01-26 14:48:14

Dark Horse
Registered user
Name: Andy Grayson
From: Kirkbymoorside
Registered: 2009-07-18
Posts: 37

Re: Dipterists Past

You do indeed have to be dead to appear in any sort of directory of past (deceased) dipterists, but I cannot envisage anyone commiting suicide in order to receive a listing.

The only slight problem in the concept of a directory including dipterists both past and present is that some sort of permission to publish becomes necessary with those that are living: those that are dead cannot conceivably produce any complaints about information divulged about them, no matter how inaccurate it may be.  In reality, most people are only too happy to be listed in directories, and will happily provide correct details as Nigel Jones has done in a previous reply to this topic.  I have seen the listing of past and present naturalists, with supplementary notes, work well in various local lists and catalogues of museum holdings etc.  If they are past, then their years of birth and death are given, and if not, then only the birth year is given.

Thank you to Peter Chandler for his notes on Harry Britten [junior] and I stand corrected on attributing the data label in a previous submission to one of his father.  I do not have any Harry Britten [senior] hand-written data labels to hand, but it would be interesting to compare his handwritting with that of his son.  The label written by Harry Britten [junior] including signature and style appear to me to be superficially very similar to his father's labels as I remember them.

Offline

 

#23 2010-01-26 15:08:23

schultmay
DF Members
Name: Barbara Ismay
Registered: 2008-02-14
Posts: 135

Re: Dipterists Past

Malcolm,
The papers Barbara mentioned are as follows:
Horn, W. & Kahle, I. 1935. Ueber entomologische Sammlungen. (Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Entomo-Museologie.) Teil I. Ent. Beih. Berl-Dahlem 2:1-160, pls. 1-16.
Horn, W. & Kahle, I. 1936. Ueber entomologische Sammlungen. (Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Entomo-Museologie.) Teil II. Ent. Beih. Berl-Dahlem 3:161-296, pls. 17-26.

There is a more recent update produced by the Deutsches Entomologisches Institut, but I do not have the reference and it is out of print. You may find the reference on the DEI webpage, it is not the Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut.

John

Offline

 

#24 2010-02-09 00:22:00

oxycera
DF Members
Name: John Coldwell
From: Barnsley
Registered: 2008-04-27
Posts: 325

Re: Dipterists Past

There is an obituary of Harry Britten (senior) in the March 1954 issue of the Journal of the Society for British Entomology.

Offline

 

#25 2018-04-02 19:26:09

ChrisP
Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2018-04-02
Posts: 1

Re: Dipterists Past

I'm not sure if this thread is still of interest (I found in through Google) but Harry Britten senior was my Great Grandfather on my mother's side and his son my Great Uncle. My father is still alive and may possibly have examples of their handwriting. He's currently unable to spend much time looking due to ill health, although in an email this morning he said that Harry senior certainly did more collecting and donating than his son and his writing was meticulous in style!

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson