Alexander Henry Haliday - Collection


Haliday's collection comprising 78 boxes was presented by Trinity of Ireland College to the Museum of Science and Art (now the National Museum of Ireland) in 1882, twelve years after Haliday's death. The dating of the parts of the collection is confusing but the bulk was put together before 1860. Although the collection was damaged, and substantial portions lost, by removal to Italy and by insect attack, it remains a very large insect collection. The bulk of the material collected by Haliday himself is in the orders Hymenoptera and Diptera. In the Hymenoptera where the material is in its original state it is laid out in numbered blocks of systematised taxa, usually disparate groups (representing species) disposed below the appropriate generic name. Most of Haliday’s own material is from Ireland but there are also many Haliday specimens from England, Scotland, Italy and Sicily. In addition to the specialist collections of Hymenoptera and Diptera there is Haliday’s own general collection (mainly Coleoptera) and a large material gifted by other entomologists. The largest single source of such gifts was evidently Francis Walker, the London entomologist with whom Haliday had a career-long association. The Walker insects are, in the main, Hymenoptera and Diptera but insects of most other orders occur in it especially Coleoptera and Thysanoptera. The next largest is gift is from John Curtis. Other collectors represented are James Charles Dale (British, Coleoptera); Jean Antoine Dours (Europe, Hymenoptera and important since Dours own collection was burned in a fire in the U.S.A.) ; Arnold Förster or Foerster (Europe, Hymenoptera); Hermann Loew (Europe, Diptera); Fernandino Maria Piccioli (Italy, Apidae, Tenthredinidae and Homoptera); G.T.Rudd (British, general); William Wilson Saunders (Corfu and Albania, Aculeata); JamesFrancis Stephens (British, general) and Thomas Vernon Wollaston (British, general). There is in addition a considerable material taken by Charles Darwin on the Beagle Voyage.

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