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Natural History Museum London
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Woody Thompson




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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2011 13:19    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Tom, they still have fantastic and very large specimens of Herodsfoot Mine bournonite on display. Here are two that caught my eye. The first one is in The Vault. (I spent over 8 hours just photographing some of the minerals in the main gallery!).


Bournonite1.jpg
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Bournonite from Herodsfoot Mine, Cornwall.
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Woody Thompson




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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2011 13:22    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

And here's another one. I went to Herodsfoot Mine on my trip last fall. There weren't many specimens like this lying about!


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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2011 13:29    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

And I took my cap off in respect to this remarkable specimen from the Virtuous Lady!


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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2011 13:57    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Here's another Cornish classic.


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Woody Thompson




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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2011 14:01    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

And just to prove that the NHM collection is really DEEP, this large cancrinite specimen came from just down the road here in Maine! (An occurrence of sodalite and cancrinite in a syenite rock called "litchfieldite". Virtually the entire pluton is covered by glacial sediments, so all the specimens like this are from float boulders).


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nurbo




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PostPosted: Aug 09, 2011 16:25    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

I was just wondering if theres been any activity on the whole lighting, decomposing specimen, burnt Amethyst front?
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nurbo




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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2011 17:04    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

So despite celebrity guests etc ( https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?t=1978 ) has anything been done regarding the decomposing specimens on public display, the abismal lighting and the mislabelled stuff? Im sorry but it kind of annoys me that a whole new thread singing the praises of this collection is started when the very relevant issues I addressed which were partially answered have subsequently been ignored.
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Jolyon Ralph




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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2011 17:07    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

The simple answer to your question is yes. There is no problem with lighting in the systematic collections or the vault, the two most important parts of the collections. And I noted myself a couple of years ago some problems with decomposing specimens (things such as epsomite) - but when checking recently they have indeed been cleaned and, where necessary, taken out of display.
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nurbo




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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2011 17:13    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Well thats good news, shame the museum people didnt answer this when I asked back in August I guess they were too busy at mineral shows and mindat conferences and stuff.
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Jolyon Ralph




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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2011 17:15    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

And another thing... it irks me when people complain about mislabelling in museums. Every single museum I have visited in the world has mislabellings, some of them quite ridiculous, some of them very difficult to spot unless you're an expert on the area.

The correct way to respond is not complain on a forum, but to give the museum curators a list of possible corrections - as I have done at the Fersman Museum, the St Petersburg University Museum and others.

And I know from museums such as the NHM, that curators have to battle with internal rules about what they can and cannot change in displays, making that part of their job particularly difficult.

I try to help them with information when I can, but I understand most curators (especially in a larger museum) simply can't open up the cabinets and relabel something on the spot.

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nurbo




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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2011 17:34    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

it irks me when I get ignored, sure museums have protocols about relabelling stuff but I asked what was the score about the issues I first raised in February in August, I now find out via non museum staff in October that some of them have been remedied, I still have no idea if they are still selling burnt Amethyst as Citrine in the "Gift Shop"
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Oct 07, 2011 02:25    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Hi Nurbo and Jolyon,

I moved your post previously located in -> https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?t=1978 to here because I believe they match better the hardcore of this thread.

Nurbo, please don't take it bad, I'm with you about the necessity to take care carefully of Museums specially the main ones like the Natural History Museum, but in Spanish we say "Lo perfecto es enemigo de lo bueno" which translation could be: " the perfect is enemy of the correct".
I mean: I'm sure that already are many wrong things that should be fixed in NHM, but believe me is not the worst Museum at all in order to take care of their specimens. Normally the public Museums have a lot of limitations, rules, legislation, etcetera and the worst, frequently they haven't the "complicity" of the real owner of the Museum: the State and his agents: the politicians.

Please don't forget that other really great public Museums (Philadelphia Academy for exemple) or private collections (Romero collection for example) were dispersed recently, so we don't have good times for mineral collections and probably in this times the Museums of Minerals needs a kind of global support to survive.

About the "ignorance" of the guys of the Museum about you, please accept that their lifes are not involved in Forums or social nets, so they participate when they can or when they are specially interested for the topic, but probably would be illusory pretend a complete disposition from they.

Again, I'm from your side and I understand quite well your complains, but my point is that currently all mineral Museums needs more support than ever or otherwise maybe our sons in the future don't will find any of them at its current state...
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B. Chandrasekhar




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PostPosted: Oct 10, 2011 06:31    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Here -> https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=19817#19817 Gail wrote:
I LIKED my visit, had a good time, had a full day with a curator and we brought FLASHLIGHTS.

While a flashlight might be useful when viewing the minerals in person, it has spoilt quite a few of the photos here. My advice would be to get to know your camera better and take your time over each shot. Still, poor photos are better than no photos at all, and overall this is a fascinating overview of a rarely seen part of the collection at the BMNH. Thanks for posting.
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Gail




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PostPosted: Oct 10, 2011 06:59    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Whatever.
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Gail




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PostPosted: Oct 10, 2011 07:00    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

You get what you get, I am there to enjoy the minerals and take photos as a keepsake of the memory. I post on here to share, good bad or what have you.
I do not have time to check settings as we are in and out of drawers and the minerals are held up to view, not for me to photo as much as for us to see them in person. I also work from thumbnail photos on my computer, I occasionally preview before hitting send but as it takes me over 2 minutes for each photo to load, not really going to delete a bunch so people won;t criticize my photographic abilities. So, sorry they don't come through clearly but as I stated above, WHATEVER.

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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Oct 10, 2011 07:44    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Don't take it bad Gail. Mr. "B. Chandrasekhar" (formerly Stumpy) seems to have a personal question with NHML -> https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?t=1887 and some times he could be very agressive.

B. Chandrasekhar - Stumpy: it surprises me so much why you don't consider that people like Gail doing her best to share hundreds (or thousands) photos with us, doesn't needs critics but they needs support to motive they to continue.

If you try to destroy continuously the main motor of our hobby, the ilusion, we will stay alone in a desolated landscape (but, of course, with an extremely elevated scientific status ;-)
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Gail




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PostPosted: Oct 10, 2011 07:50    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

I do the best I can.
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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Oct 10, 2011 09:15    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Gail wrote:
I do the best I can.

Gail,

Of course, just keep doing the best you can. Your London museum report is superb.

Thanks a lot once again for your time, generosity and effort.
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tiger_bris




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PostPosted: Oct 10, 2011 09:40    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Gail , Dont you ever stop posting your reports. More have nice thing to say about them then not. Thanks for taking the time to show.
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Alan.Hart




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PostPosted: Oct 10, 2011 09:55    Post subject: Re: Natural History Museum London  

Glad to see the comments have been moved. As usual Jordi is spot on. I
am always willing to answer any questions, but much prefer they come to
me direct at my Museum address or indeed 'face to face' to avoid
extended but seemingly ‘unresolvable arguments'

It seems to me the issue is one of perceived priorities. The museum
environment today is vastly different to what it was even 10 years ago.
Much more is asked from a curatorial team that has diminished over the years while
Institutional directions have changed. What I do know is that a collection
that is not seen to be growing and relevant is dead in the water. Our
mineral gallery was under 'threat' for redevelopment some years ago, and
as acquisitions had dried up (from both the philanthropic donor and
as a result of a diminishing acquisitions budget) it was a precarious situation. This is
why we made the case to visit the major shows, to get out there to know
the market, market ourselves, and ensure we continue to acquire material
to build the collections. Although 'mineralogy' has always sat rather
uncomfortably in terms of what people perceive a 'Natural History
Museum' should contain, our pro-active approach has been applauded by
our top management, and we are in a better position in terms of both
perception (internal and external) and budget now than any time during
the last 20 years.

Of course as with any large collection there is a lot of work to do. I
am glad to say we are working towards a rolling programme of
conservation - starting with our major specimens and working through on
a priority basis - a long term project indeed. One of our goals it to
entirely refurbish the systematic collection - but this has to be within
a museum wide development programme that is also developed on a priority
basis. ie we may not come first!

As for your comments for the shop, unfortunately we don’t control and are rarely consulted about what is on sale.
We highlight our own concerns internally when we spot a problem. However, it is up to the shop to act on them.

Alan
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