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Collecting Will

Posted by Henry Barwood  
Henry Barwood February 29, 2012 05:45PM
Over the last decade, I've seen the passing of a number of collecting colleagues. When they went, their memories of localities went with them. Only the places they documented remain. I too have found that my memories of places I collected 10, 20, 30 and 40 years ago have faded. Some I made notes and road logs on, but even those are of limited usefulness when faced with overgrown areas and modern road changes. The last few years, I made an effort to revisit locality information and try and provide modern coordinates for each area. Some collectors don't want to publicize their "best" spots. In this case I recommend that you leave a "collecting will" that details collecting areas and specimens. That way, when you are gone, your specimens will live on.

Henry Barwood
Troy University
Troy, Alabama USA
John Montgomery February 29, 2012 07:23PM
What a great idea, Henry!
I was thinking along the same lines with regard to my three sons who currently have no interest in my hobby, but 20 years from now, who knows, they may very well have.
David Bernstein February 29, 2012 08:20PM
Not a bad idea. I've been accused by some, in a humorous way, of carrying too much information around in my head.
Harold (Hal) Prior February 29, 2012 09:21PM
Many years of information can disappear in just and instant. I'm aware of one fantastic private collection that for many years did not have labels for most of the best pieces in their display cases because labels distracted from the specimen. When I asked about it the answer was " I know all the information by memory". Finally convinced them to put a small indscreet number on specimens - correlated to a card file of info.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2012 05:18AM by Harold (Hal) Prior.
Matthew Goodwin March 01, 2012 02:13AM
I address this problem via "field notes" which I keep as a single word document for each year.

On a day by day basis I record each field trip to a site or sites. Information recorded includes the GPS coordinates for each site (initial visit), geological observations, what techniques were used to recover specimens (eg pick & shovel, etc), companion details, the size/depth/volume of any hole dug, an opinion on prospects for future discoveries at the site (or nearby), landowner contact details, sketches of important site features, etc. Also the most important thing, a summary description of what was found.

The field notes have been useful for:
* Cataloging specimens later.
* Responding to queries from researchers on the geological setting in which a specimen was found, sometimes twenty years later.
* Providing me with an assurance that the 'sites' that I have discovered over the decades can be relocated by other people or museums.
* Providing something more substantial than just a specimen with a label. The context of the recovery of specimen/s can be extremely interesting and is more often than not lost.

The notes contain enough information so that anyone can relocate the sites that I have recovered my specimens from.
Bob Harman March 01, 2012 03:22AM
So Henry et al, let me get this straight. When we die, thru a "will", you want to then find out our best collecting places!? The best of the best? Perhaps the best of the best of the best? Like the best exact locations in those sneak-in quarries? Or exactly where you found those rare uranium minerals..... right next door to where the bombs are being made??? Or the great Lincoln Co New Mexico smoky quartz xtals from federal lands discussed some years ago in our periodicals? Or, in my case, exactly which Washington County Indiana stream bed ravine produced the great aragonite geode pictured not too long ago in "favorite self-collected specimens"?
Henry, I think you are on to something; as long as the Federales don't then come to your house and take it all back from your grieving widow! Actually, my wife, REALLY likes your idea and hopes it plays out something like my scenario.........."here sir, take ALL my late husband's rocks back, their ALL yours"!!! I guess I will go along with her...............your idea is a good idea!!
BOB HARMAN, Bloomington
Henry Barwood March 02, 2012 10:36PM
Bob, you lead a much more exciting collecting life than I do. The Feds would only want my collecting notes for sleep research!

Henry Barwood
Troy University
Troy, Alabama USA
Paul Brandes March 04, 2012 02:49AM
Instead of a "collecting will", you should do the next best thing; post all your locality information to Mindat!! :-D

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2012 02:51AM by Paul Brandes.
Alfredo Petrov March 04, 2012 03:13AM
...or just use Mindat's cataloguing function on your Mindat home page to catalogue your own collection :-)
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