Biodiversity, during the past few years, has become a 'buzz' word, as if this were a brand new concept. The word appears in the news, on television, in advertising, in grant proposals, particularly for tropical studies because it is in the tropics that the terrifyingly rapid extinction of plant and animal species and their ecosystems are threatening the earth's ecology. Hundreds of species are being exterminated before they become known to science. The natural history repositories themselves, especially those housing the primary collections of a region or major political unit, have much to answer for in this crisis for not articulating their importance and value to research. It has been our aim at the University of Colorado Museum to provide catalogues and regional taxonomic handbooks in order to develop a literate public and to increase the value of the collections to amateur and professional students of the flora and fauna.