Our history

The Australian National Insect Collection has been operating for more than 45 years. There have been many interesting changes and developments during this time.

Early Days

In 1926, the predecessor of CSIRO, CSIR (the Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), was formed as a result of The Science and Industry Research Act passed by the Australian Federal Government that year.

By 1929, the buildings to house the early CSIR Divisions were completed and the Division of Economic Entomology had an official home in Canberra, the Australian National Capital. The Division of Economic Entomology became the Division of Entomology in the 1950s.

CSIR expeditions to collect and record Australia's insects began in 1929. The number of specimens from these expeditions and from donated private collections grew by the thousands each year. However, during the early days of CSIR, the various collections were managed separately by different parts of the Division of Economic Entomology.

Australian National Insect Collection is born

Throughout the history of ANIC insect collecting expeditions have been organised to all parts of Australia. Many remote parts of Australia were surveyed. The number of specimens being housed in ANIC grew into the millions and the task of identifying and classifying these specimens saw the systematic capabilities and the reputation of the Collection grow.

Australian National Insect Collection is housed

A space large enough to contain the growing Collection was needed. A permanent building that served this purpose was constructed during the late 1970s. This new facility was built as part of the Division of Entomology. In the early 1980s, the collection moved into the new building.

In 2010, the Divisions of Entomology and Sustainable Ecosystems merged to become the Division of Ecosystem Sciences. Four years later In July 2014, a major restructuring of CSIRO took place and the Australian National Insect Collection was moved to a new line of business that incorporated all of the CSIRO collections under one management system.


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