Unlocking the Collections

getting comfortable with next-level access to museum minerals

A researcher accessing parts of the mineral collection at NHMLA. Our collection can be search at https://collections.nhm.org/mineral-sciences/
A visitor looks as if they want access to this part of the mineral collection. Note my ominous reflection in the glass, ugh 🙄 😆

Part One: The Researchers’ Needs

An example of the diamond reference drawers at NHMLA. Each one of these small plastic boxes holds a single diamond of known origin.

So what is the hesitation?

Why are mineralogists not donating their studied, but no longer being used, specimens to museums?

This study can be used as a barometer as to why researchers do not share information, and why they might not share specimens with museums. It seems most researchers just don’t want to share. But why? Fear of contradictory analyses, competition among research groups, lack of organization of data-to-mineral, … ?
The home page of GBIF, global biodiversity information facility, has a pleasing and easily accessible format.

Part Two: Public Trust & Education

Typical First Fridays concert at NHMLA. Can you see me in the crowd? First Fridays has food, drinks, scientists, discussion panels, tours, concerts, and everything else to have fun and make people feel comfortable. All the while being as educational as possible.
The community is welcome at NHMLA panel discussions.
Typical type of donation we receive. This is representative material from the MacArthur Mine in Nevada. These minerals will be cataloged, photographed, and then immediately available for search on our database.

Keeping science accessible. Researching how minerals can be used to solve problems like climate change, pollution, and disease. @ NHMLA, USC, NASA-JPL

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