|Witt Museum, also known in the literature under the abbreviation MWM, has been established in 1980 by Certificated Businessman Thomas J. WITT to study moths (Heterocera), "Bombyces and Sphinges" as defined in the work of SEITZ. The representative specialized collection of Lepidoptera families, comprising about 2,5 â€“ 3 million specimens from all over the world, form the basis of this privately donated institute. The history and origin of the collection, combined from numerous private collections of eminent lepidopterologists along with material, obtained during many research trips and expeditions of the second half of the 20th century, extends back to the middle of the 19th century.
The growing crew of specialists of many nations, including corresponding scientists and colleagues, is now busily maintaining, evaluating and studying the research material.
Results of this activity are constantly published in internationally known journals, book series and separate articles. In 1980, WITT made an agreement with the editorial team of Maximilian SCHWARZ, Ansfelden, concerning the edition of the special journal Entomofauna in order to publish the growing number of manuscripts. Published from the very beginning in a high number of exemplars, this journal was spread by the international correspondence to the most significant libraries of the world, universities, professional communities and societies in a short period. It also received recognition within the fast growing circle of subscribers.
The continuously supplemented research library contains now more than thousand textbooks along with about 20.000 research related reprints, letters, maps and manuscripts from about 480 journals, which can be readily accessed.
Cooperation with the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology (ZSM)
On May 27 2010 Dipl.-Kfm. Thomas J. WITT and Prof. Dr. G. HASZPRUNAR (as representant of the Bavarian ministry of science) signed in Munich a contract which aims to ensure sustainability of the museum WITT (MWM) for the long future even after the founder Thomas WITT. With this, the collection of Bombyces of the museum WITT becomes a new department of the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology (ZSM). In the building of the ZSM a separate magazine with a working room for a scientist is reservated.
Large part of the collection of Bombyces, however, will still be deposited in the collection rooms of the MWM in the TengstraÃŸe in Munich. Due to the physical transport of parts of the collection (see below) into the new magazine in the ZSM, the remaining parts of the MWM can be considerably enlarged now, and finally there is space for adequate and pleasing working conditions and accommodation for the continuously increasing number of guest researchers.
In 2010 the following families were transferred into the magazine in ZSM:
(1) Family Zygaenidae: Genus Zygaena F. (Procridinae and Chalcosiinae will remain in the TengstraÃŸe as their systematical arrangement is still pending, partially)
(2) Family Saturniidae: worldwide
(3) Family Drepanidae: for giving continuous access to the material for Ulf BUCHSBAUM, specialist of that family
(4) Family Thyatiridae: research on that family is temporarily finished with the publication of LASZLO, GY. M. & G. RONKAY & L. RONKAY & T. WITT: The Thyatiridae of Eurasia including the Sundaland and New Guinea (Lepidoptera) - ESPERIANA Buchreihe zur Entomologie 13: 1-683, 42 Farbtafeln. Schwanfeld, 18. Juli 2007, ISBN 3-938249-06-4. Family Thyatiridae
(5) Family Sphingidae: worldwide
(6) Family Aganaidae
(7) Family Satyridae
Loan of material for research purposes and curation of the collection will be performed by the MWM staff as hitherto.