Shelf Life Takes a Summer Vacation main content.

Shelf Life Takes a Summer Vacation

by AMNH on

From the Collections posts

Shelf Life Banner
Shelf Life is taking a short summer break, but will return soon.

Around this time of the month, you may be used to seeing the latest episode of the web series Shelf Life—the series that opens doors, pulls out drawers, and takes the lids off some of the rarely seen items in the Museum’s vast scientific collections.

This July, though, the producers of Shelf Life are taking the month off. No, they're not off to sleepaway camp or sipping umbrella drinks in a poolside cabana. Instead, they're getting a head start working on videos to share with you during the other eleven months of the year.

So mark your calendars: Shelf Life will be back on August 20, 2015 with a brand new episode featuring the Kinsey gall wasp collection. Before he became the world's most famous and controversial sex researcher, Alfred Kinsey was a dedicated entomologist who collected millions of these tiny wasps, as well as the galls created by their host plants. His immense collection was donated to the Museum, and is now used by researchers around the world who come to study the wasps’ complex taxonomy and anatomy.

Gall Wasps
Some of the millions of gall wasp specimens from the Kinsey collection.

If you really can't go a month without Shelf Life, though, we understand. Visit to catch up on episodes you might have missed, featuring tiny fossils, giant squid, and newly discovered mammals. If a summer binge watch is more your style, check out the Shelf Life playlist on the Museum’s YouTube channel.