World's Second Largest Lepidoptera Collection Facility Selects Montel Compact Storage Systems
When the University of Florida received a private donation to construct a 35,000-square-foot educational museum and research complex, the State of Florida committed to financially participate in the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility that would later be named the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity.
During the construction of the new McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, the facility needed collection space to house the Florida Museum Lepidoptera collections formerly stored at the Allyn Museum in Sarasota, other University of Florida collections and the State of Florida's Division of Plant Industry collections.
As the facility was being constructed, the principal goal was to accommodate into a state-of-the-art centralized facility the second largest collection of butterfly and moth (Lepidoptera) specimens. Thus, over 4,000,000 specimens are found at the McGuire Center representing nearly 95% of all known butterfly genera.
With Montel’s extensive museum application expertise as a storage systems provider, in order to solve the McGuire Center’s space problems, a custom designed compact storage system was proposed for the world’s largest Lepidoptera education and research facility.
Montel’s team of professional engineers and museum collection specialists provided the following special storage solution:
- Mechanical Mobilex high-density mobile storage system;
- Customized QuadraVista case shelving designed to hold over 60,000 glass-topped entomology drawers that hold the unique Lepidoptera collection for safe, clear and secure storage.
Today, the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity serves both research and public education functions. The center includes the 6,400-square-foot living Butterfly Rainforest, an adjacent 4,600-square-foot exhibit gallery featuring information about Lepidoptera and rain forests worldwide, as well as more than 31,000 square feet of research laboratories and collection space. The research space includes three floors with compacted drawers and alcohol specimen vials; laboratories focusing on molecular genetics, scanning electron microscopy, image analysis, conservation and captive propagation of endangered species, optical microscopy and specimen preparation; and classrooms and offices for students, curators, collection managers and other staff.