The Eastern Illinois University insect collection was started almost a century ago and was developed in the early years from 1919 to 1948 by Dr. Charles Spooner. The diversity of orders represented in the collection was extensively developed through the work of Dr. Garland Riegel in the period between 1948 and 1978. As a result of the work of Dr. Michael Goodrich from 1964 to the present, the collection has grown to over 300,000 specimens.
The collection is particularly strong in Hemiptera, largely due to the efforts of Dr. Spooner, and in Coleoptera, primarily due to the efforts of Dr. Goodrich, which continue to the present. The collections of Zoraptera and other minor orders were enhanced by Dr. Riegel, as well as other faculty and students. The collection has been of great value to scientific research, both here in the United States and elsewhere in the world with over 200 loans of research material, amounting to many thousands of specimens, being sent to specialists during the past 20 years.
At the present time, as Professor Emeritus, Dr. Goodrich continues to serve as Curator of the insect collection, with the support of Professor Emeritus Dr. Richard Funk, who acts as Curator of the non-insect Arthropoda. The Spooner-Riegel-Goodrich Collection continues to be available for loans of specimens for systematic and faunistic research and therefore contributes significantly to scientific research on the Arthropoda of North America.