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Natural History Museum London
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2011 05:21    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Darren wrote:
I remember reading a review of the museum a few years ago that was not very nice! Kind of cool to see it, thanks.
Darren

Concerning the images, I assume that probably Alan Hart should have some (or a lot ;-) good photos of the Museum's specimens.

If yes and he would be so kind to download few here, probably it would help a little to make more visible the SUPERB quality of the specimens of the Museum...

Jordi
PS: Of course the same proposal is valid for any other Museum. Curators, please give us, mortals, the chance to see partially your treasures dowloading some images, as (for example) Seaman Museum did! -> https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?t=1416

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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2011 07:20    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Nurbo - DSC00255.JPG "with wad". Wad is an indeterminate manganese ore, usually a mixture of pyrolusite and romanechite.

Darren - The not very nice review that you recall is of the then new mineral gallery in what was the Geological Museum, now incorporated into the Natural History Museum. It is the display that Jesse mentions above, and is a disaster! The quality of the specimens is something else though, they are superb.

Anyone visiting London should see both galleries, bring a torch for the new gallery though!
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Alan.Hart




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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2011 11:58    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Ah I see many old friends here. Yes Jordi, we do have some images, but we are now embarking on a more structured programme of image digitisation. Some of our best material will go to our photo studio, some will be more 'automated' through pushing through a lighting/camera set-up to basically 'capture' the specimen for databases.

I often thought of perhaps uploading some images on a regular basis for people to see the collection - not sure what our IPR and digital asset department will think however - again something that might not be thought of as having to consider but National Museums funded out of the public purse do!

The 'shop' has contacted me, and I shall have a meeting with them with regard to disclosure of treatments so thats a good way forward i will even suggest some stocking options as well.

As many of you have seen our 'new diamond' is in place, we even had some queueing down the gallery outside the Vault which was good to see.

And below, a little image to enjoy!



ChalcociteBM1964R338CapeCornwallMineADH.JPG
 Description:
Russell Collection chalcocite, BM1964,R388. This specimen isn't on public display but is part of an extensive suite of chalcocites from Cornwall. Personally I love this piece, especially the association with chalcopyrite 'blister copper', which in daylight has a beautiful iridescent tarnish. A real old timer from the Cape Cornwall mine near St. Just. specimen is approximately 15x15cm.
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ChalcociteBM1964R338CapeCornwallMineADH.JPG


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Elise




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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2011 12:29    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Alan.Hart wrote:
Yes Jordi, we do have some images, but we are now embarking on a more structured programme of image digitisation. Some of our best material will go to our photo studio, some will be more 'automated' through pushing through a lighting/camera set-up to basically 'capture' the specimen for databases. I often thought of perhaps uploading some images on a regular basis for people to see the collection - not sure what our IPR and digital asset department will think however - again something that might not be thought of as having to consider but National Museums funded out of the public purse do!

This is something we are also working on here at Cornell. Carl Francis' group at Harvard presented a wonderful PowerPoint of their similar project at the recent SMMP meeting in Tucson illustrating some great innovations; perhaps I can lure them into putting part of that on the thread here: https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?t=1580

Cheers!
Elise

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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2011 13:39    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

One of the great treasures housed at the NHM London is the Sir Arthur Russell collection. During the early to mid 20th century Russell assembled one of the finest and most thorough collections of British minerals ever gathered together. It is said that he almost spent the family into poverty in doing so, but upon his death in 1964, the collection was willed in it's entirety to the museum. Unfortunately for the visiting public, much of it is not on display and advance arrangements must be made to see it. Fortunately, Alan and Mike have been quite accommodating on my repeated visits over the past few years while researching English fluorite localities. Below are a few photos of some of my favorite Northern English fluorites fro the collection. In deference to Ian Jones, I'll try to get some Cornish fluorites posted soon - unless he wants to!


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Boltsburn Mine
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Boltsburn-1918r.jpg
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Boltsburn Mine
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Hilton Mine
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Rotherhope Fell Mine
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WhitesLevel1524b.jpg
 Description:
White's Level, Middlehope. From a large find in 1818.
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WhitesLevel1524b.jpg


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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2011 14:08    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Just a quick note confirming all that Jesse said, specially the amazing quality of the whole Russell collection and also add that the NHM owns another fabulous treasure: the Henry Ludlam collection.
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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2011 14:43    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Yes, the Ludlam collection is older and less well-known than Russell's but contains some important specimens, such as this matlockite (the coin is 2.5 cm).


Ludlam-Matlockite-r.jpg
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Ludlam-Matlockite-r.jpg


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Alan.Hart




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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2011 17:24    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Hi again, yes the Ludlam collection contains some incredible specimens. We have now moved the 17,500 specimens of the Collection into the Russell room where Austin Woodbridge has spent the last 4 years re-housing and pulling together all the associated information. I remember when Mike and I first saw this matlockite - we werespeechless - we even had it x-rayed to ensure ID as at first we had a niggling feeling that it may possibly be an odd 'baryte'. we have some original letters from Ludlam to the miners who first discovered these specimens and as you can read, Henry Ludlam was very keen to get what he could(!).

Interestingly one of our best proustite specimens that is now in the Mineral collection was purchased by Ludlam for £200 from Stevens Sales Rooms in the Strand, after which he promptly donated it to us (then of course the BM). Amazing.
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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2011 03:46    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Thanks Ian, Ive never come across wad before,
This thread seems to have taken on a life of its own now, so I will bow out with my badly taken phoio's in the hope that better pictures than I managed with my phone will be posted over the coming weeks.
I love the Russell Chalcocite Alan and thanks for posting the Fluorites Jesse, they are pretty stunning too. The Bolts Burn elongated cube is really weird,
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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2011 09:50    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

I finally had my first visit to the Natural History Museum this past October. The breadth and quality of the mineral gallery met and exceeded my expectations! Thanks to Mike Rumsey for a backstage tour and the chance to see some remarkable Cornish specimens in the Russell collection. It was a great help in some collection research that I'm doing. Will post a few photos here.


Caradon .jpg
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A "rock candy" fluorite from Cornwall. Possibly my favorite specimen in the mineral hall.
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Caradon .jpg



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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2011 09:53    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

A beautiful fluorite/galena combo from Wheal Mary Ann.


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MaryAnn.jpg



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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2011 09:56    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Gemmy, intense blue fluorite from the Holmbush Mine, Callington, Cornwall. This is in the Russell Collection.


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2011 10:07    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

The large and famous siderite pocket from Wheal Maudlin.


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2011 10:09    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Close-up of siderite with quartz, Wheal Maudlin, Cornwall.


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2011 10:14    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

St. Agnes chalcopyrite.


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2011 10:33    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Another form of chalcopyrite from St. Agnes, Cornwall.


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2011 10:35    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

A rare location piece of Cornish silver.


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2011 10:42    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

And finally, one of those cases of huge and remarkable specimens that Jesse mentioned as being in the Geological Museum adjacent to the NHM. Note the boulder-size specimen of schorl and white apatite crystals from the famous old locality in Bovey Tracey, Devon!


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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2011 04:39    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Back from London, pain on my legs, but with some pictures that will be posted in the Spanish side (sorry :-) ) as soon as I can.

I will write more comments later but I need to say two things now.

First: London museums should advice on their internet page about the dates of the "Term Holydays". Because of that I have had only 45 minutes to visit the Collection till the security people push me out (almost literally) and that thanks to the fact that it was "Last Friday of the Month" and I could join the party downstairs. :-)

Second: In the line of Jordi's proposal. Wouldn't be nice if the Museums would keep a database of the specimens being shown (with pictures or not) that could be accessed from the Internet? I think that could be a good step forward in the path of "knowledge dissemination" and may be a not-so-difficult one.

Let me now finish with a picture of a poster that would make more sense in this side that the Spanish one. Do you recognize the face? ;-)

Cheers

Arturo



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Tom Tucker




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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2011 12:20    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

I had the pleasure of visiting the Natural History Museum about 12 years ago. I remember most the large BOURNONITE specimen from Cornwall, and also the interesting "Sunday Rock" - a laminated recent deposition of microcrystalline BARYTE, which as I recall the explanation - has obviously thicker lamina every seventh layer - due to the miners not working on Sunday, and the water pumps being shut off, permitting a thicker deposit of new mineral. Of course, I suppose it's not really a mineral, since the hand of Man was significant in its origin.
A feature I wish all museums would adopt - there was a poster on a wall with an index to the various cases where the different species could be seen. It might not have been current or complete, but it was helpful in locating all the ANATASE, and TYUYAMUNITE for example.
Another bonus - near to the museum was a publications sales office of the Geological Survey, where a very helpful saleslady led me to a variety of publications about British geology.
A great museum, photography allowed, and only a handful of other visitors during the two or three hours I was there.
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