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Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed
  
  Index -> Worlwide Museums & Visits to Museums and private collections
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Woody Thompson




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PostPosted: Mar 13, 2017 07:52    Post subject: Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed  

I am forwarding this message from Roy Starkey, regarding the need for support to preserve the important Cornish mineral collection in the Rashleigh Gallery at the Royal Cornwall Museum:

Dear All,

The Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro has been awarded HLF (Lottery) funding to redevelop the Museum – this is great news. There is an online questionnaire asking for feedback from the public (but it has been poorly publicised and closes in a couple of weeks).

I have posted an article to generate / raise awareness and seek action from the mineralogical community to ensure that the mineral collection and Rashleigh Gallery are highlighted as important, and not degraded, or even lost, in the redevelopment.

Please have a look at the article here https://www.mindat.org/article.php/2532/Royal+Cornwall+Museum+-+your+help+required%21 , and get involved, as a minimum by filling in the questionnaire – takes about 5 minutes, and is worryingly culture/history – biased, does not really mention the mineral collection and its importance at all.

It would be great if some of you could also send a thoughtful constructive letter to the Director, Ian Wall highlighting what you consider to be important, and your affection for and high regard for the collection and the gallery.

Time is short if we are to get our voices heard. Please spread the word.

Thanks for your support.

Best wishes
Roy Starkey
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lluis




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PostPosted: Mar 13, 2017 08:48    Post subject: Re: Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed  

Hi, Woody

Already done. Hope it helps!
By the way, a nice looking museum, for what I have seen in the photo on Mindat!

With best wishes

Lluís
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James
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PostPosted: Mar 13, 2017 08:51    Post subject: Re: Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed  

Filled in Woody / Roy
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Matt_Zukowski
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PostPosted: Mar 13, 2017 20:20    Post subject: Re: Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed  

This took only about two minutes. Its really easy to do.
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Peter Megaw
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PostPosted: Mar 14, 2017 09:42    Post subject: Re: Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed  

It seems to me we need to also encourage everyone who urges the museum to keep the exhibit to also vote with their feet and go to Cornwall and VISIT the museum. That's how to really show support. been there twice and it is well worth the trouble. The.minerals are amazing....not just the liroconite...and Cornwall is gorgeous.

There are also some mineral dealers down there and along the route, not to mention Stonehenge, Avebury and a whole bunch of country pubs.

It also creates a great opportunity to visit the Natural History Museum in London....one of the greatest...if not THE greatest extant representative mineral exhibits.

_________________
Siempre Adelante!
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Mar 14, 2017 10:40    Post subject: Re: Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed  

Filled in.

Roy, do you want I copy here the whole message you published in Mindat including the image in order to make your request even more visible here?

Good luck!
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Mar 14, 2017 12:11    Post subject: Re: Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed  

Jordi Fabre wrote:
...Roy, do you want I copy here the whole message you published in Mindat including the image in order to make your request even more visible here?...

Permission granted :

Roy Starkey wrote:
Royal Cornwall Museum - your help required!

By Roy Starkey

An article published in the West Briton on 9 March 2017 highlights the good news that the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro has received a major funding boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/cornwall_news/15137364.Royal_Cornwall_Museum_receives_boost_from_the_Heritage_Lottery_Fund/

The project is clearly now well-advanced because the article names the successful bidders who will “consider the visitor experience and how the museum might be adapted to cater for an improved experience for Cornwall’s resident communities as well as tourists.”

Many FMF readers will be familiar with the Royal Cornwall Museum, and in particular with the Rashleigh Collection of minerals which is housed there. The Rashleigh Collection is of national and international importance, and has for many years been displayed in a dedicated, and beautifully fitted-out, gallery on the right hand side of the museum entrance.
One of the things which sets the Rashleigh Gallery apart is the very high density of objects on display, and the excellent detailed labels which accompany every specimen (placed adjacent to the specimen). The displays feature a mix of wall cases and table-top display cases, and the general feel of the gallery is of a historical treasure house – which indeed it is. It is unquestionably the finest public display of Cornish minerals anywhere in the World, and we must ensure that the Museum recognises the international importance, and preserves the integrity, of the displays in any redevelopment programme.
The article in the West Briton mentions that the museum is seeking public feedback to assist with developing the design brief for the project, but unfortunately the online questionnaire runs only through February and March so the publicity is rather delayed if the museum really wants feedback.

My purpose in posting this article is to raise awareness across the international mineralogical community of the opportunity for engagement, and hopefully to influence the eventual outcome of the project. The first step should be for as many people as possible to complete the online questionnaire – available here http://www.royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk/things-to-do/events/museum-survey

It is not all that obvious on the website, which is a shame, and it does not clearly indicate that this is a public consultation exercise in relation to the recent HLF-funded redevelopment project. It will take you only a few minutes to complete – so please take a look and do wave the flag for the mineral collection and Rashleigh Gallery. There is also the opportunity to be invited to a focus group discussion to put forward your own ideas, so if you live within striking distance of Truro, do please sign up for an invitation.

The general trend in modern museum display design seems to be to reduce object density, increase “interactivity” and “interpretation“ (i.e. text and graphics), and unfortunately to “dumb-down” the visitor experience. Lighting is also an aspect of many modern displays which is a particular “hobbyhorse” of mine – see my conference poster here https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272510604_The_Good_the_Bad_and_the_Ugly_Museum_Displays_-why_do_we_keep_making_the_same_mistakes

You might also care to write a thoughtful letter to Ian Wall, Director of the Royal Cornwall Museum (25 River St, Truro TR1 2SJ, UK), highlighting your interest in, and affection for, the mineral collection and the Rashleigh Gallery. Alternatively, you can email him at ian.wall@royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk

You can find some background information on the Rashleigh Collection here
http://www.virtualmicroscope.org/content/rashleigh-test
and here
http://www.cornwall-calling.co.uk/famous-cornish-people/rashleigh.htm

An excellent overview of Philip Rashleigh is available on Wikipedia here
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Rashleigh_(1729%E2%80%931811)

Such is the international importance of Philip Rashleigh and his collection that the Mineralogical Record collector biographies website features a major account of the man and his collection. http://www.minrec.org/artwork.asp?artistid=44&cat=1
which draws on the excellent article by Bob Jones - Jones, R. W. (1995) Philip Rashleigh and his Specimens of British Minerals (1797 and 1802). Mineralogical Record, 26, 77-84. A major article by Thomas Moore was published in 2013 - The Royal Cornwall Museum and the Philip Rashleigh collection, Truro, Cornwall, England. Mineralogical RecordVol. 44, No. 4, 449-462.


The Royal Cornwall Museum itself highlighted the huge importance of the Rashleigh Collection by nominating it as one of the BBC’s 100 objects describing the history of the World (Cornwall) http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/AxcIGMslS2K18LcZ1PgJ6g

"ROYAL CORNWALL MUSEUM. Cornwall's mining and mineral wealth triggered the development of many fine mineral collections. Perhaps the most famous is that which belonged to Philip Rashleigh of Menabilly near Fowey. As a wealthy local Gentleman in the right place at the right time with the right connections and extensive mineral rights, he started to collect minerals in the 1760s and continued until his death in 1811. This collecting activity coincided with the mining of particularly rich copper lodes in Gwennap so the Rashleigh collection is very rich in specimens from this area. His near complete, beautifully documented collection still resides in the county where it was put together. It is housed at the Royal Cornwall Museum along with his manuscript catalogues and copies of his illustrated published volumes etc."

If you have never had the opportunity to visit the museum, take a look at this short video showing Dougal Jerram presenting the Rashleigh Collection on You Tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3JTghBKqSE

So, the message is – there is new funding available to help the Royal Cornwall Museum, which is excellent news, BUT we all need to make sure that the future of the Rashleigh Gallery and the mineral collection in Truro is secured, and that the unique historical appeal of the gallery and the huge number of specimens on display is not compromised in any way by the HLF redevelopment project.

Please get involved, and get writing – time is short.

Thanks

Roy



South Condurrow Mine_Camborne_Cornwall_England_UK.jpg
 Description:
Miners from the South Condurrow Mine, Camborne, Cornwall, England, UK (circa 1900)
Photo from the archive of the Royal Cornwall Museum: http://www.royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk/
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South Condurrow Mine_Camborne_Cornwall_England_UK.jpg


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Woody Thompson




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PostPosted: Mar 14, 2017 12:13    Post subject: Re: Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed  

Peter, your comments on the RCM are spot on and much appreciated. The museum has a variety of excellent exhibits on Cornish history and culture, in addition to the superb Rashleigh mineral gallery, and Truro is a nice town to visit. If people don't like driving those roundabouts and narrow roads with hedgerows, they can enjoy the train ride to Truro from London.

I have likewise been to the RCM a couple of times, most recently in 2010 during a trip to research an old Cornish mineral collection from Lostwithiel (home of 1800s mineral dealer Richard Talling). The staff were very helpful in examining specimens in storage, and we look forward to a return visit.

Museum director Ian Wall can be reached at:

Ian.Wall (@) royalcornwallmuseum (.) org (.) uk

(Sorry, but the forum rejects e-mail addresses in their usual format)
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Robert Seitz




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PostPosted: Mar 15, 2017 09:15    Post subject: Re: Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed  

Completed survey. We are planning trip to Cornwall in 2018 and the museum was already on the list.
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Roy Starkey




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PostPosted: Mar 18, 2017 07:36    Post subject: Re: Royal Cornwall Museum mineral gallery - your support is needed  

Thank you to everyone for your interest and support. I was away travelling in New Zealand when news of the grant award and museum redevelopment reached me, and was keen to make sure that the voice of the international mineralogical community was heard in the online survey, but did not have my login details with me, so Woody kindly offered to make a post on my behalf.

I have received quite a number of supportive emails, and confirmations from people that they have filled-in the survey.

I'll provide periodic updates on the project as things progress, when I have something to update people with / reports appear in the media..

Meanwhile - thanks again and have a great mineralogical 2017!

Roy
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