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Museum Professionals - please introduce yourselves!

Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 19, 2012 05:59PM
If you're a mindat contributior, regular or not, and you work with mineralogy at a museum, then please introduce yourself here and tell us a little bit about what you do!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2012 10:12PM by Jolyon Ralph.
Chris Stefano July 19, 2012 07:52PM
So, I don't know if I'm technically a "professional", but among other things I'm working on, I am taking care of the mineral collections at the University of Michigan right now. The collection dates back to 1838 and has some incredible Michigan specimens among other things. If you were at the Tucson show this year or Rochester, you will have seen some of our copper specimens, and we'll also be showing at Denver and Detroit this fall.
Johan Kjellman July 19, 2012 08:33PM
I am working at the Museum of Evolution, Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden. The museum was founded around year 2000 and was originally based on the collections formerly belonging to the departments of zoology, botany and palaeontology, the "life sciences". The mineralogy collection was added to the museum about ten years ago, when it came from the Mineralogy and Petrology Department. The mineral collection came oficially to the University in 1750, the oldest objects being from the 17th c.
I used to be a mineral collector when I came to Uppsala in the early 1980's, hence I traded a bit with the mineral collection when it was still attached to the mineralogy department. In the 1990's I studied at the department and became a Ph D student in the late 90's. I was then analysing pegmatite minerals, mainly Nb-Ta-oxides from Ytterby, from the collections. So, with time, I came to know better and better this truly historic collection that dates back to the 18th c. and in one way or another, is connected to scientists like Wallerius, Torbern Bergman, Bromell, Ekeberg, Linnaeus, etc.
When the collection came to the museum it essentially lost its connection to the mineralogical department. No analytical facilities came with it and almost no budget, there was a 30 % curatorial position connected to it. It was given "new" provisory storage facilities, actually terrible conditions, whereas the original crafted 1950's birch furniture was reserved for the palaeontology department. In short, the collection was really in danger for the first time in 250 years. This was the situation when I came in about five years ago. Rather than continuing to treat it as a contemporary systematic research collection in decline, I decided that the strength of the collection is its historical sub-collections and begun a reorganisation that is still going on. The goal is to keep the individual collections separately and to focus on the historic aspects of mineralogy and to promote the collection in every way I can. The original 30 % position has become 75 %, I am reclaming the original furniture, etc...
Presently I am investing a lot of time, apart from the reorganisation, in researching the history of crystal models and modelling. This will be the subject of a poster presentation at the Dresden meeting next month. Hope to see you there!


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2012 04:12PM by Uwe Kolitsch.
Peter Davidson August 03, 2012 09:52AM
Hi Everybody

I am the curator of minerals at the National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh. I am also the secretary of the International Mineralogical Association Commission on Museums and the European Co-ordinator of the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP). I asked Jolyon to set this up as a way of increasing and improving communications between curators, or those looking after collections and I am thrilled to have had a few responses already. I have also set up a Facebook page which people are more than welcome to visit. For those of you going to the Museums and Mineralogy Conference later this month, I look forward to meeting you. If not, please stay in touch.

Cheers from sunny Scotland

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2012 04:12PM by Uwe Kolitsch.
Uwe Kolitsch September 03, 2012 10:29AM
I am a curator (minerals and ore deposits) at the Natural History Museum in Vienna (Austria).
I have been helping to improve and enlarge Mindat since about 2005.

You can find more information on my Mindat page, (with link to my Museum page).

Cheers, Uwe
Steve Lemieux September 03, 2012 12:50PM

Until just a few weeks ago I was one of the two educators at the L.C. Bates Museum in Hinckley, Maine. The museum was technically started in the late 1800's, however the original building burned to the ground in 1903. The collection was then split into several smaller museums before moving into its current building in the 1920s. The building was essentially abandoned for several years in the 60s and 70s, during which time many of the best mineral specimens went missing. The museum was brought back to life in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

With only three people on staff, and as the only one with any knowledge of rocks and minerals, I ended up acting as curator of the geological specimens. With no climate control of any kind, it was a struggle to keep some of the specimens from simply falling apart, not helped by the fact that many of them had been in those conditions for 80+ years! Although I have moved on to a different job, I've been retained by the museum as their "geological adviser" and am currently drafting long-term collections and collections care plans in order to preserve the old-time specimens on display, continue the process of re-building the collection, and re-vamp the display space. In addition to all of that I wrote and presented school outreach programs on geology (and other subjects) and identified any geological specimens that happened to be donated to the museum as well as specimens brought to us by the public for identification.
Tom Cotterell September 20, 2012 10:28AM
I am Curator: Mineralogy Specialist (or more simply Mineral Curator) at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales in Cardiff, UK. I started at the museum in 2000 as an Assistant Curator, but progressed to the role of Curator of Ore and Secondary Minerals within a couple of years. My role now encompasses anything mineralogical.

I run our X-ray diffraction (XRD) equipment and use the facilities regularly to make sure that the registered specimens are exactly what they are labelled as - don't assume that all museum labels are correct! This is particularly true of manganese oxides which I have studied intensively. I also routinely use the equipment to answer enquiries from the general public (is it a meteorite? - usually no!) from amateur mineralogists (who often make the really good discoveries) and for my own research projects. I publish any interesting discoveries in journals such as the UK Journal of Mines and Minerals ( and the Journal of the Russell Society (

My other work interests include the history of mineral collecting (particularly in Britain, but worldwide too), historic mineral texts (pre-1830s) and anything to do with mineral identification. As a curator a large part of my time involves working with specimens including simple things such as labelling, packaging, databasing as well as planning workshops, displays and exhibitions. I arrange fieldtrips to working quarries and disusued mines on behalf of the Russell Society and give talks on a wide range of mineralogical subjects to local and national mineral and geological societies.
Chris Mavris September 24, 2012 03:29AM
Hi everyone,
I am Christian (Chris) Mavris, M.Sc. in Mineralogy (University of Parma, Italy) and PhD in Soil Mineralogy and Physical Geography (University of Zurich/ETH, Switzerland).
At the moment I am carrying out investigations on soil mineral weathering as a function of climate change (Post Doc project). This joint project includes top scientific institutions, such as CU Boulder, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich.

On a more personal side, I am a collector (since 1990) and I especially focus on European classic localities.
On a more 'Mindat' side, I am officially a contributor since 2000 and I am manager since March 2010. Moreover, I am the founder and admin of the Mindat group on FB.

My dream is to become a museum curator with a scientific focus on the use of minerals as markers of incipient low T geochemical transformations (soil and surface chemistry) in the landscape and our fragile environment.

For more informations feel free to contact me and/or visit my webpage


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2012 04:02AM by Chris Mavris.
Henrik Friis October 02, 2012 03:07PM
Hi all,
I recently started as associate professor and curator of mineralogy at the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway. The collection contains more than 43000 specimens with a focus on Norwegian localities, like the Kongsberg Silver Mines and pegmatite mineral from Evje/Iveland. One of the earliest, and most famous, geologists here at the museum was Victor Moritz Goldschmidt, the father of modern geochemistry and not to be confused with Victor Mordechai Goldschmidt, who wrote the famous 'Atlas der Kristallformen'. The oldest specimens in the collections date back from the mid-17th century, and are from various geologists and mining engineers of that period. Our display is systematic after Strunz, but with smaller display focusing on things like Norwegian Type Minerals, and displayed in old cabinets. Recently, a modern display was add, enabling us to show some of our treasures too.

My own research is focused on the mineralogy of alkaline complexes, especially those in South Greenland, but I am also very interested in REE and Be mineralogy. I also do descriptive mineralogy and hope to get back into luminescence of minerals. I am very interested in finding minerals in Nature with desirable properties that can be recreated/controlled or even enhanced under laboratory conditions, and hence create new materials for modern technologies.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2012 04:11PM by Uwe Kolitsch.
Stephen Bradstreet January 13, 2013 06:16PM
May I kindly ask all of you in the museum community to provide here your email\phone contact information so that we may share information directly with you?
mana naja May 14, 2015 07:44AM
Hi, everyone.
I am glad to be here.
I hope that this forum could help me.
I will follow your thread for getting more useful information.
Thanks for running well.
Rock Currier May 15, 2015 12:53AM

Are you associated with a museum?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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