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Michael Shaw's Mindat Home Page

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Welcome to Michael Shaw's Homepage

Registered member since 21st Jan 2008

Michael Shaw has uploaded:
307 Mineral Photos
9 Locality Photos
I developed an interest in natural history at an early age. My first visit to the Berkshire Museum apparently turned on the collecting gene. Over the years I've collected everything from butterflies to fossils, to botanical specimens. But the one interest that has never faded is my passion for minerals. For the past 45 years, minerals have been a big part of my life. My first exposure to the mineral world was at the aforementioned museum, where there was a room devoted entirely to rocks and minerals. The museum's mineral collection was built around a collection acquired from an unlikely donor named Daniel Clark. A local farmer who seldom traveled outside the county, Clark built a modest size but very high quality worldwide collection, much of it through trading. Not wanting his collection to leave the area, he donated his collection to the public library in 1900 at the age of 81. The collection was moved to its present location in the museum in 1903. I can remember spending hours on end gazing at the displays, and can still remember how the cases were arranged and some of the more notable specimens. My favorite specimen was a superb stibnite group with individual crystals to 5 inches in length from the Ichinokawa Mine. In 1961, I entered a mineral display in a contest at the museum and received the calcite specimen pictured above as a prize. This piece was collected in 1868 and was part of Daniel Clark's collection. It's still one of my favorite specimens. The museum's mineral room planted the seed that resulted in my lifelong fascination with minerals.

My early collection consisted of primarily self-collected specimens. Fortunately, I grew up in New England where there were many localities to investigate. A few of my favorites were Middleville, NY; Chester and Lancaster, MA; Chester, VT, and Groton, NH. The images below show a few specimens that were collected on these trips.

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1. Margarite, clinochlore, magnetite - Melvin Mine, Chester, Hampden Co.,Massachusetts
2. Pyrite in talc - Carlton Quarry, Chester, Windsor Co., Vermont
3. Andalusite var. chiastolite - Lancaster, Worcester Co., Massachusetts
4. Quartz var. Herkimer diamond - Middleville, Herkimer Co., New York

Well, some years later, it's no surprise that my focus has changed - partly out of necessity, since I now happen to live in a mineralogically challenged part of the country. Currently, I focus on collecting suites of minerals from specific districts, or in some cases, countries. It's a great way to learn more about the geology, geography, and cultures of different areas. To see areas of particular interest to me, have a look at MY FAVORITES. Also in the last year, I have begun to photograph each of my specimens in an effort to better document my collection. I've found that photography has provided many enjoyable hours and is a useful and fun way to work with my collection.

Thanks for visiting.


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