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Minimum size for a mineral museum
  
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David




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PostPosted: Sep 08, 2023 07:40    Post subject: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Hello,
In your opinion, what would be a minimum number of mineral specimens needed to set up a mineral museum? So that you wouldn't think that it is too small.
I won't ask about the quality, as that would be extremely subjective.
Thank you!
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Roger Warin




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PostPosted: Sep 08, 2023 08:33    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Hello David,
I would say only one, provided it is remarkable and esteemed by experienced collectors.
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Kevin Schofield




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PostPosted: Sep 08, 2023 11:56    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Hi David,

you will likely get as many opinions and as many numbers as there will be replies to this question, so let me throw in a bigger number than Roger and an "it depends" statement.

The "it depends" boils down to "it depends what sort of museum you want to have".

If you want a reference collection for your country, then for Romania Mindat lists 852 valid mineral species, that's a number.

If you want to be a little grander, and have a global reference collection, then the International Mineralogical Association currently recognises 5,955 "official" mineral species. So there's another number.

If you want to have a museum that will make people gasp in awe at the majesty of Mother nature's Chemical and Aesthetic skill (ie the subjective matter of "quality" IS an issue), then you could do worse than emulate the MIM Museum in Beirut, which most collectors would probably agree has the world's finest display. That has (per Trip Advisor of all sources) more than 1800 minerals on display, representing 400 species from over 70 countries.

So there you are. Somewhere between 1 and 5,995, depending on your purpose and pocketbook.

But where-ever you end up, I wish you as much joy as I have had over the past 50 years putting together my "personal museum of around 400 mostly carbonate minerals (did I mention you could also do a species-focused museum?)...

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Forrestblyth




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PostPosted: Sep 08, 2023 13:10    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Small mineral museums work very well if focused on something special.
Take the small Weardale museum I visited today.

It has a small high quality selection of particular minerals specific to its location. Even with the whole collection housed in less that 4 cabinets like these, I still had a very enjoyable hour or so looking at them. Also, unlike a lot of stricter larger museums, this one even lets you touch specimens.



20230908_143119.jpg
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20230908_143119.jpg


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Forrestblyth




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PostPosted: Sep 08, 2023 13:16    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Allowing us to handle a magnificent 70kg Weardale fluorite


20230908_142417.jpg
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Sep 09, 2023 04:35    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Kevin Schofield wrote:

...If you want to have a museum that will make people gasp in awe at the majesty of Mother nature's Chemical and Aesthetic skill (ie the subjective matter of "quality" IS an issue), then you could do worse than emulate the MIM Museum in Beirut, which most collectors would probably agree has the world's finest display. That has (per Trip Advisor of all sources) more than 1800 minerals on display, representing 400 species from over 70 countries.


In fact, the mim Museum are at 510 species and 2,200 specimens presented (Salim's word... 😉)
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David




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PostPosted: Sep 09, 2023 08:22    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Roger Warin wrote:
Hello David,
I would say only one, provided it is remarkable and esteemed by experienced collectors.


Hello, Roger,
Thank you for your reply! I see your point. Probably you could have a mineral museum with only one exhibit, for example if it hosts the largest meteorite ever found on Earth (if I'm not mistaking that would be the Hoba meteorite). At some point people might decide to build a structure on top of it, for protection, and call it a museum. That should work.
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David




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PostPosted: Sep 09, 2023 08:25    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Forrestblyth wrote:
Small mineral museums work very well if focused on something special.
Take the small Weardale museum I visited today.

It has a small high quality selection of particular minerals specific to its location. Even with the whole collection housed in less that 4 cabinets like these, I still had a very enjoyable hour or so looking at them. Also, unlike a lot of stricter larger museums, this one even lets you touch specimens.


That looks very nice, thank you! I wouldn't mind that it is small.
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David




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PostPosted: Sep 09, 2023 08:55    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Kevin Schofield wrote:
Hi David,

you will likely get as many opinions and as many numbers as there will be replies to this question, so let me throw in a bigger number than Roger and an "it depends" statement.

The "it depends" boils down to "it depends what sort of museum you want to have".

If you want a reference collection for your country, then for Romania Mindat lists 852 valid mineral species, that's a number.

If you want to be a little grander, and have a global reference collection, then the International Mineralogical Association currently recognises 5,955 "official" mineral species. So there's another number.

If you want to have a museum that will make people gasp in awe at the majesty of Mother nature's Chemical and Aesthetic skill (ie the subjective matter of "quality" IS an issue), then you could do worse than emulate the MIM Museum in Beirut, which most collectors would probably agree has the world's finest display. That has (per Trip Advisor of all sources) more than 1800 minerals on display, representing 400 species from over 70 countries.

So there you are. Somewhere between 1 and 5,995, depending on your purpose and pocketbook.

But where-ever you end up, I wish you as much joy as I have had over the past 50 years putting together my "personal museum of around 400 mostly carbonate minerals (did I mention you could also do a species-focused museum?)...


Hello, Kevin,

Thank you, I appreciate your thoughts on this!
I enjoy reading all your opinions!
Don't get me wrong, I don't think I will ever be able to create something like that. A friend of mine with a much larger collection dreamed about a private museum at some point, but you do need a lot of money for that, as you don't get any sort of support for this.
But I do enjoy my collection a lot!
I don't think it is possible to have all the minerals ever found, in one collection, and frankly I don't necessarily see a point in that.
The MIM museum is a great reference! You can definitely see the passion put into it. But also the money.
Romanian billionaires and millionaires usually collect cars and art. Wish there was someone to replicate the museum in Beirut, at local level.
I wish you all the best!
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Roger Warin




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PostPosted: Sep 09, 2023 13:52    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Hello,
Don't misunderstand my first message.
If I have only offered one quality specimen, it is because I have made multiple mistakes during my (long) life as a collector.
I have collected specimens that I do not even dare to give to a child today.
A collection must be made according to your passion and your knowledge.
I don't like the notion of a museum, because often it implies a dispassionate administration.
I believe you should avoid collecting labels, but crystals you are crazy about. The rest doesn't matter.
Mineralogy is a passion that allows you to live happily. You must refuse to compete. You can choose a theme such as an origin of the mineral, or a morphology.
What is more beautiful than the diversity of habits of the heart-twin of the Cumberland calcite? But this point of view requires crystallographic knowledge. This twin remains very rare and deserves, I think, a purchase at every possible opportunity, if you like calcite.
I would like to add a comment from my friend Dr André Rostenne : the collection is a consumer good. You have to enjoy your purchases and never regret anything.



Calcite-twin-1_R.jpg
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Egremont, West Cumberland Iron Field, former Cumberland, Cumbria, England / United Kingdom
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Calcite-twin-1_R.jpg



Calcite-twin-2b_R.jpg
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David




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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2023 09:00    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Roger Warin wrote:
Hello,
Don't misunderstand my first message.
If I have only offered one quality specimen, it is because I have made multiple mistakes during my (long) life as a collector.
I have collected specimens that I do not even dare to give to a child today.
A collection must be made according to your passion and your knowledge.
I don't like the notion of a museum, because often it implies a dispassionate administration.
I believe you should avoid collecting labels, but crystals you are crazy about. The rest doesn't matter.
Mineralogy is a passion that allows you to live happily. You must refuse to compete. You can choose a theme such as an origin of the mineral, or a morphology.
What is more beautiful than the diversity of habits of the heart-twin of the Cumberland calcite? But this point of view requires crystallographic knowledge. This twin remains very rare and deserves, I think, a purchase at every possible opportunity, if you like calcite.
I would like to add a comment from my friend Dr André Rostenne : the collection is a consumer good. You have to enjoy your purchases and never regret anything.


Hello, Roger,

Thank you very much for your message!
I've been collecting minerals for most of my life, since I was a child basically. I have no other goal in sight other than enjoying minerals and collecting them. I do not care about labels, numbers or what others think of my collection. I only collect what fascinates me, and I have absolutely no regrets about this or about anything else in life for that matter.
I do have a theme for my collection: Balkan and Eastern European minerals. But that doesn't mean that I cannot be tempted by other regions.
I do love the diversity of calcite! And you have an extraordinary specimen there, congratulations! I don't know much about crystallography, but it is definitely a beauty, gem quality that can be seen with a naked eye!
Romania produced a great variety of interesting calcite crystallizations and I love them all!
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Bob Carnein




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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2023 10:31    Post subject: Re: Minimum size for a mineral museum  

Although, for me, one specimen would not make a very interesting museum, I have to admit that smaller is sometimes better. I don't have the mental stamina to look at a thousand specimens, even if they're all of superb quality. What I look for in a museum is an element of eccentricity or quirkiness, rather than the standard fare you see at big mineral shows. Penn State's mineral museum used to have some superb stone mosaics and agates that had imaginary images in them (I think there's a term for these, but I can't think of it at the moment). Such objects break up the monotony--you want to know who collected tham and why. The same goes for personal collections--I'm as interested in why collectors amass the things that they do as I am in the objects themselves.
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