The Clemson University Arthropod Collection (CUAC) began in the 1890s shortly after the College opened. Unfortunately, the original collection was lost in a fire in 1925. The present collection and state faunal survey were initiated in 1926 by Franklin Sherman who continued as curator of the collection until 1947. Other curators and past contributors include: David Dunavan (1927-1956), Dr. O.L. Cartwright (1925-1948), Frances McAllister (1930-1974), J.A. Berly (1910-1957), Dr. J.M. Todd (1921-1940s), J.O. Pepper (1919-1950s), Dr. V.M. Kirk (1951-1970), and Dr. R.C. Fox (1958-1981). The current Collection Director, Dr. John Morse, has had responsibility for the dried and slide insect collections since 1974 and for the alcohol arthropod collection since 1982.
The CUAC supports teaching, research, and extension activities of the University. Its educational displays are used to enhance University courses and are viewed by visitors to the Collection and by participants in demonstrations at off-campus venues. Voucher and study specimens document the species used in University research. The CUAC's identified specimens serve as reference material for identification of samples submitted each year by people from throughout South Carolina.