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The R.C. Dening Collection 

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Lepidoptera and Odonata collected by R.C. (Tim) Dening from all around the world throughout a lifetime of travel and natural history interest from 1930 to 2000. His collection of over 70 cases of specimens is now held by the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, in Scotland. It features a large number of Zambian butterflies and moths.


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The Collector's Notes

Richard (Tim) Dening kept meticulous notes of all the places and dates when he collected each of his insect specimens. Each individual in the collection had a label attached beneath the pin giving these details. It was not practical to remove and then replace every specimen in the collection boxes to extract this information for the website. However, if necessary, this individual specimen information can be obtained from the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, which now holds the collection.

Tim also left his own personal hand written notes on the places and in some cases, the dates when he collected specimens.  These notes are numbered. Each number represents a species or subspecies rather than individual specimens. Specimens in the collection cases were numbered according to these notes. A single (species) number may represent more than one specimen in a case. The notes relevant to the specimens in each case can be accessed directly from the individual case pages (example here).

Tim's notes were intended solely for his own personal use. They refer to place names and things which were of particular relevance to himself and his family. 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. (A map of all the countries covered by the collection can be viewed here.)

The explanations on this page are provided to help the reader to interpret the collector's personal notes. They are not exhaustive, but cover the most common references made in the notes. The omission of particular place names in this list of explanations is in some cases due to the fact that none of the family have been able to interpret them either!

Tim was in Northern Rhodesia and Zambia government service for twenty-four years, from 1947-1971: this included five years in Mwinilunga; two in Ndola; three in Mumbwa; two in Samfya and the remainder in Lusaka, often in posts which involved widespread travelling. A map of Northern Rhodesia prior to independence can be found here.

Cross references to dates and places where Tim collected can also be found in his career history and in Elisabeth Dening's diary of their overland trip from India to UK.


Reference in Collector's Notes

Country / Explanation

Abercorn Now known as Mbala. It is in northern Zambia near the Tanzanian border. Abercorn was its name under colonial administration.
Anatolia Turkey
Ankara Capital of Turkey
Bandarawela Sri Lanka
Belihul Oya Sri Lanka
View from the Belihul Oya Hotel, Sri Lanka

View from the Belihul Oya Hotel, Sri Lamka

Bibile Sri Lanka
Big Concession Mumbwa District, Zambia
Boma (Strictly meaning a fortified place)
Provincial government office, various locations, Zambia

Mwinilunga Boma circa 1950

Boma at Mwinilunga ca 1950
Bowen Road Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Cape Maclear Lake Malawi, Malawi
Chalimbana Zambia
Cherry Pie A flowering plant, Lantana camara
Chiawa Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Chilanga Zambia
Chinsali Zambia
Chipoma Falls Chinsali District, Northern Province, Zambia
Chirundu Zambia, on the border with Zimbabwe
Chisamba FR (Forest Reserve) Zambia
Chongwe Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Chowo Forest Zambia
Coimbatore India
Colombo Capital of Sri Lanka
Dankolowa Sri Lanka
Deniyaya Sri Lanka
Fanling New Territories, Hong Kong
Galle South western tip of Sri Lanka
Great North Road Zambia
Happy Valley Hong Kong Island
Hok Tau (Dam) New Territories, Hong Kong
Hunas Falls Sri Lanka, Kandy
(Chief) Ikelenge's Village

Ikelenge - North Western Province of Zambia, near Mwinilunga and adjacent to borders with both Angola and the Congo. (Map in this document      Ikelenge pedicle)

Chief Ikelenge 1953

Chief Ikelenge (Paramount Chief of the Lunda)


Islamabad Capital of Pakistan
Isombo (Stream) Zambia
Kabompo Gorge North West Zambia
(The Kabompo River is a tributary of the Zambezi River.)
Kachalola Zambia, Eastern Province
Kafue Gorge On the Kafue River, Zambia
Kafue Gorge, Zambia

Kafue Gorge

Kakoma Zambia
Kalambo Falls North Western Province, Zambia, bordering Tanzania
Kalene Hill North Western Province, Zambia
Kanha (National Park) India
Kanzenzimina Zambia
Kapundu Mwinilunga, Zambia
Kashiba A lake in Ndola Rural District in Zambia (Chief Ndubeni's area)
Katondwe Zambia
Kavunde Forest North Western Province, Zambia
Kipushi Border town Zambia / Zaire
Kundalila Falls Zambia

Kundalila Falls

Kundalila Falls, Zambia
Kurunegala Sri Lanka
Labuyama Sri Lanka
Lantana A flowering plant, Lantana camara
Lilongwe Capital of Malawi  map
Livingstone Zambia (bordering Zimbabwe)
Luanshya Zambia  map
Lumangwe Falls On the Kalungwishi River, Northern Zambia
Lunga Marsh Mwinilunga, Zambia

The Lunga River,
which gave Mwinilunga its name.

The Lunga River, Mwinilunga 1952
Lunzuwa Falls Zambia
Lusaka Capital of Zambia.
Matonchi North Western province, Zambia
Mlanje Malawi
Mkushi Zambia,
on the Great North Road between Lusaka and Tanzania
Mporokoso (Boma) Northern Zambia
Mswebe Farm Mumbwa, Zambia
Muchabe Zambia
Mufilira Northern Zambia
Mujila (Falls) Northwest Zambia
Mumbwa Zambia  map
Munali Pass Near Mazabuka, Zambia
Mutanda NW Province, Zambia
Mwewa Luapula Province, Zambia
Nchelenge Luapula Province, Zambia
Ngwerere Hill Zambia
Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka
Nyakaseya (Chief) Zambia
Nyika (Plateau) Malawi
Pankulam Sri Lanka, near Trincomale
Passakudah Sri Lanka
Pettipola Forest Reserve Sri Lanka
Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka
Royal Chitwan National Park Nepal
Rufunsa Valley Southern Zambia
Ruo Gorge Malawi
Sailunga A tribal chief in NW Zambia.
Chief Sailunga 1953

Chief Sailunga

Samfya Zambia  map
Shire River Malawi
Shiwa Ngandu Northern Zambia

Shiwa Ngandu


(A fascinating account of the creation and building of this essentially feudal English country estate in the heart of the Northern Rhodesia bush, by Englishman, Stewart Gore-Browne, can be found in 'The Africa House' by Christina Lamb.)

Shiwa Ngandu

Siavonga Southern Zambia, adjacent to Lake Kariba
Siavonga 1963 Siavonga, Zambia
Simla Hills NW Himalayas, India
Solwezi Zambia
St Francis Mission Solwezi, Zambia
Sumbu (National Park) Northern Zambia
Tai Mei Tuk New Territories, Hong Kong
Tai Po New Territories, Hong Kong
Tiger Tops Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Trinco(malee) Sri Lanka
Vippankulam Sri Lank, near Trincomalee
Vipya (Plateau) Malawi
Zambezi source North Western Province, Zambia
A trickle out of the ground -
The source of the mighty Zambezi River!
The source of the Zambezi River
Zomba (Plateau) Malawi
Zugspitz The highest mountain in Germany. It is also close to Austria.








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