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Insect collecting as a pastime has a long history, but the later decades of the eighteenth century proved an important era for the development of entomology as an academic subject. Two processes influenced this development: firstly, the advancement of Linnaean systematics in botany and zoology caused paradigmatic changes in the perception, systematization and classification of insects; secondly, ever-growing numbers of specimens were accumulated in European cabinets of natural history. The professionalization and popularization of entomology combined to produce a plethora of literature giving advice on how to collect and preserve insects. Here we look at the material aspects of collecting and the ways in which European naturalists conceptualized the practices of collecting.

In: Naturalists in the Field