8pm Wednesday 19th April via Zoom
A question that is starting to come up more and more often in conversations is “What should I do with my collection?” Today’s mineral collecting community is increasingly grey-haired and perhaps dominated by people who began collecting in the 1960s and 1970s. As such, this population of collectors and collections represents a considerable and potentially important mineralogical resource.
In a special event hosted by The Russell Society, and chaired by Roy Starkey, we will present an overview of the key factors to be considered, some of the constraints and hurdles to be overcome, as well as opportunities and threats which may confront us.
We owe it to the specimens, and to those who came before us from whom we have benefited so much, to ensure that our collections are handled in a suitably responsible and satisfactory manner, and that important pieces are curated and preserved together with as much curatorial data and specimen history as possible.
Is your collection properly labelled and organised such that someone coming to it ‘cold’ would be able to understand what is what, and to be confident in dispersing it appropriately? Do you have a catalogue? If so, is it on paper or in electronic form? If electronic, is it regularly backed-up and in a format likely to be machine readable in the future? Does someone else know how to access it, where to find passwords etc.? Do your family members understand the importance (and perhaps financial value) of your collection? Do they know who to contact and what to do in the event of your unexpected demise? Should the collection go to a museum or university (either in its entirety or segments of it)? Is the best route to return the specimens to the collecting fraternity via a sale or auction, or is sale to a dealer a better option.
We’ll be addressing these questions, and a whole lot more, in discussion with a panel of experts from the Natural History Museum (London), National Museum Wales, National Museums Northern Ireland, BGS, The Geological Curators’ Group and National Museums Scotland.
Please make a note of the date and join us for what is perhaps a unique opportunity to assess and to learn what you need to do to put your mineral (or fossil) collection in order whilst there is still time.
Members will find the link to the meeting on the members page, but all are welcome to attend. Just contact [email protected] to be put into contact with Roy Starkey