Episode 18 – The strange case of the butterfly theft

December 24, 2009 13:11 by andi

Good crime fiction finds out whodunnit by asking why and how they did it. Evidence can lead us to the culprit but can also lead us to erroneous assumptions. In this episode we talk to one of history’s detectives – the archivist.

Ross Harrison Snow, Museum Victoria’s (former) archivist, uncovered a long-forgotten but fascinating story about a butterfly theft that occurred from museums in Australia and New Zealand in the late 1940s.

The evidence, such as old museum correspondence, documents, court proceedings and media clippings, tells the story through what’s said but also and what isn’t said.

Arrestingly yours, Dr Andi

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Drawers for butterfly collections. Photo Kate Chmiel | A specimen with a tell-tale yellow label. Photo Kate Chmiel | One of hundreds of butterflies on display at Melbourne Museum's Bugs Alive exhibition. Photo Jonny Brownbill Drawers for butterfly collections. Photo Kate Chmiel | A specimen with a tell-tale yellow label. Photo Kate Chmiel | One of hundreds of butterflies on display at Melbourne Museum's Bugs Alive exhibition. Photo Jonny Brownbill

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