|Two of Tim's
daughters also lived in Hong Kong for many years, which entailed family visits and of
course, time to go collecting!
Most of the specimens in the
collection were either collected by Tim as adults or reared from earlier life stages.
However, Tim also corresponded with other entomologists and occasionally swopped
specimens. The butterflies in the collection from South America were obtained in this way.
Some of the butterflies in the collection are ex-museum specimens. There is also a case of
butterflies (the T.R.
Beadle Collection) which Tim's father-in-law obtained in Sierra Leone in 1915. This
was absorbed into Tim's collection after his father-in-law's death.
Tim was an amateur entomologist, but only in the sense that he never
pursued entomology as a paid career. He was a professional in every other way. He had an
honours degree in Economics and an MA, both from Cambridge University and was a Fellow of the Royal
Entomological Society. He wrote academic papers, discovered and had species named
after him and spent many years of his life producing a checklist of Zambian butterflies.
A manuscript copy of a preliminary Zambian checklist produced by Tim
in 1979 is held by the British Museum (Natural History) Library in London. In his retirement, Tim also collaborated
with Alan Heath, Michael Newport and David Hancock in the production of a Zambian
checklist to be published as a book.
He withdrew from the book project in 2000 and it was eventually
published in 2002, sadly, without his name among the list of authors. (Heath, A., Newport, M.A. & Hancock, D. (2002). The Butterflies of Zambia. African Butterfly Research Institute & The Lepidopterists Society of
Africa. Content Solutions Online, Pretoria.)
An Introduction to Zambian butterflies, originally written by Tim
for inclusion in the book is reproduced here.
||Tim was absolutely meticulous
in his attention to detail. This was his life's work and he spent many thousands of hours
working on the specimens he had collected.
The cases were
organized according to taxonomic categories rather than geographical origin. Each
individual pinned specimen in the collection had a label detailing exactly where and when
it was collected. It was not practical to remove and then replace every specimen in the
cases to record such individual information for this website. If required, this level of
detail can be obtained from the Curator of Entomology at the Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow.
In addition, there were many spare specimens stored in papers and
similarly labelled with collection details. These unpinned specimens have also been
donated to the Glasgow Museums.
Tim also kept his own personal, hand written notes on
the places and in some cases, the dates when he collected specimens. Specimens in
the cases were numbered according to these notes. Each number represents a species or
subspecies rather than an individual specimen number. Tim's notes have been reproduced on
the website and can be accessed from each page displaying an individual case in the
The notes were intended solely for Tim's own personal use and refer
to places and items which were of particular relevance to himself. The notes are therefore
difficult to interpret by someone unfamiliar with his life and with the detailed geography
of the countries where he lived and collected. Explanations have been provided to help the reader to
identify the countries and areas referred to in the notes.
The Collection's New Home
||Jeanne Robinson, Curator of
Entomology at Glasgow Museums (Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery) together with two
colleagues, drove all the way from Scotland down to the south coast of Britain to pick up
the collection on a rainy day in November 2006.
The family is
very grateful to Jeanne (right) for her professionalism and care throughout the whole
process of donating and transferring the collection to Glasgow, as well as subsequently.
We are also very appreciative of her warmth, humour and understanding.
This website has been produced by Dr Barbara Corker, Tim's daughter.
I have made every effort to ensure that the information provided is correct and that the
species names are accurately transcribed. I have a Ph.D. in an ecological topic and am
also a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, so I have a scientific background and
training to help me in this task. However, if you do happen to come across any error, I
would greatly appreciate it if you would email me so that I can set it right. Tim was a
stickler for correctness. I would not want his memorial website to be anything other than
I am indebted to Dr George McGavin, at
the time, Assistant Curator at the Oxford Museum of Natural History (now an Honorary
Research Associate of the Museum, as well as an author and TV presenter), for providing me
with an introduction to Jeanne Robinson and the Glasgow Museums when I was searching for a
suitable new home for Tim's collection.
I would also like to thank Eddie John FRES who provided input into
some of Tim's Cyprus
specimens while I was producing the website. You
can access his excellent website on Cyprus butterflies and the Butterfly Recording Scheme
for Cyprus here.
I am very grateful to Stephen Lawson for the many
hours which he put into helping me keep the collection in good order prior to its
rehousing and for all the photography of the cases. He has also had a considerable hand in
designing the website and while I have often groaned at the work involved in some of his
ideas, they have always improved it!
Images & Copyright
The images on this 'RC Dening Collection' website are copyright
©Stephen Lawson 2008. Images may be used by schools, colleges and universities for
educational or scientific purposes, but please obtain permission first by emailing:
Images may not be used without permission for any purpose where
commercial gain is involved. This includes where payment is being received for producing
material for non-commercial or charitable purposes.
Higher resolution images of the cases are available on request. I
also have high resolution images of individual specimens in the majority of the cases. In
addition, Tim took many photographs of individual specimens in his own collection and also
in the African Butterfly Research Institute (ABRI) collection as part of his preparations
for producing the Zambian Checklist. These can be supplied on request for a fee.
Any proceeds from the sale of images will be donated to the Lepidopterists'
Society of Africa in Tim's name.