The British Isles is rich in the number and diversity of its museums and galleries. In the United Kingdom there are over 2,000 in all, fewer than 30 of which are funded by central government. Many museums hold collections of Coleoptera which may be inspected by bona fide coleopterists, including some small and private museums for which special visiting arrangements will have to be made.

The FENSCORE database

Details of individual museum holdings are available on the Federation for Natural Sciences Collections Research (FENSCORE) web site at Select "National Database (text search)", then in the keyword(s) field enter "Coleoptera" and then one other word in order to refine your search, e.g. "Somerset" (if you omit a second search word only the first 250 search results will be shown). A list of FENSCORE collection records containing the words "Coleoptera" and "Somerset" will be displayed.

Area Museum Councils

For the last 40 years the U.K. Area Museum Councils (AMCs) have played a central role in promoting and supporting excellence in local museums, great and small. They represent the main strand of central government support to local museums and galleries. In most cases you can find out contact details for a museum from the Area Museum Council web site:

For Area Museum Councils web sites, click on a section of the map below:

The Southern Museums Agency web site ( covers museums in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

If you wish to inspect a collection it is usually essential to write, phone or e-mail in the first instance.