A day in the life of a Collections Assistant at the Entomology Collection, Iziko South African Museum

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Mujahid Hector and Zikhona Njeza


The Entomology collection is one of the oldest, if not the oldest collection in South Africa. All material accessioned into the collection is acquired through either donations or collections made by Iziko research staff or research staff from other institutions. The Entomology Collection is very dynamic and it takes a lot of discipline and good planning to manage this collection. 

Our duty as Collection Assistants is to assist the Collections Manager in the management of the insect collection. We are actively involved in pest management, GRAP 103 processes, educational programs, processing of loans and donations, cataloguing, accessioning and the digitization of specimens and we even assist visitors. We never have a dull moment at work and feel motivated, encouraged and want to learn more. 

We take great care of our specimens as we understand the purpose of these collections. We are also very aware that these specimens are irreplaceable and invaluable. We miss “Conservation Monday”! Every Monday we would all get together and clean our collections areas, storerooms and storage rooms. We would also do physical checks for pests on this day. We take great pride in our work and we strive to maintain a healthy working environment. 

We absolutely love what we do and we enjoy working together as team to ensure that institutional goals are met.