SEPTEMBER 2006 MINUTES
15 September - Denver, Colorado
Board members present: Anna Domitrovic, Virgil Lueth, Jean DeMouthe, Terry Huizing, Paul Bartos, Peggy Ronning, Penny Williamson, Jamie Neuman
The meeting was called to order a 1:30 pm by president Virgil Lueth. He went through the planned agenda for the general meeting and opened a discussion on the Tucson show and the SMMP program.
VL reported that Carl Francis will speak about the Harvard situation at the general meeting.
The Best Practices manual for mineral collections is something that SMMP should produce. VL offered to construct a first draft before Tucson.
Terry Huizing reported that Bill Cook, long time member of SMMP, passed away recently. A card will be sent from SMMP.
Penny Williamson brought up the new restrictions on international travel with specimens, and how this may affect the Australian themed Tucson show in 2007.
Terry Huizing asked for suggestions for the Tucson program, but none were forthcoming.
VL adjourned the Board meeting at 1:55 pm.
The meeting was called to order by president Virgil Lueth at 2:04 pm. Introductions followed. .
The minutes from the previous meeting in Tucson were read and approved unanimously.
Anna Domitrovic gave the treasurer's report and reminded members about their dues and the web site. There is currently $1,215.13 in the checking account, and $8,270.65 in the money market savings account.
Lueth discussed the grant program, and reported that there have not been any applicants.
Bill Cook, one of the original members of SMMP (back when it was the Mineral Museums Advisory Council), died of pancreatic cancer in early September. A card from the SMMP will be sent to the family.
Jamie Neuman reported the Columbia School of Mines in New York recently transferred 1000 drawers of ore and other samples to the American Museum.
Carl Francis discussed the situation at Harvard, where changes have been made to collections spaces, staff, and general organization. There are new faculty members in mineralogy. The ores and rocks have been added to the mineralogical museum collections, and they have a mandate to database all of their collections. Carl and Bill Metropolis continue to hold their positions, and the collections will continue to improve.
Terry Huizing reported that Carl Francis has had a plant named for him (Hosta sp.).
John Gray of the Weinman Museum reported that they are constructing a new building, with a planetarium and other improvements. The ROM will be getting a new curator soon (4 people are on short list).
Jean DeMouthe mentioned the upcoming Tucson show, and asked for suggestions for the SMMP display. She mentioned "opals from interesting places" as a possible topic. No other suggestions were made.
Lueth proposed that the SMMP program for Tucson could be on databases and data management in collections.
Domitrovic reported that the Desert Museum is working on databasing all of its collections, and will have a digital on-line catalog.
Barbara Muntyan put in a good work for databases being available to the public.
C. Francis said that Tony Kampf had done a review of publicly-available database programs. (Rocks & Minerals, Vol.81, p.121-123; 2006)
Domitrovic reported that the Desert Museum has a new exhibit "Life on the Rocks," which includes mineral specimens in pockets and vugs, along with the animals.
Peter Davidson said that there will be an SMMP event at the IMA Museums conference in Munich on 3 November.
Williamson discussed the upcoming Tucson show, which will have an Australian theme. She mentioned the new travel restrictions and described problems they have had with customs in the US and elsewhere. She offered to ask the mindat.org web people if they are working on MSDS-type pages for minerals for their safety section, which might help people get mineral specimens across international borders.
Jeff Post described the difficulties of shipping specimens within the U.S., including to the Tucson show.
Lueth offered to send a letter to the Tucson show committee, and he asked for the international SMMP members present to describe problems and issues they have had with transporting specimens; SMMP will try to help.
Lueth discussed the proposed best practices manual for mineral collections, which will include sampling procedures and policies.
Francis suggested checking guidelines already established by other organizations, like the American Assoc. of Museum and the Society for the Preservation of natural history collections (SPNHC).
Jamie Newman reported that some of the university mineral collections in Japan are being rediscovered and revitalized, with funding coming for their government for collections care.
Francis mentioned John White's recent letters published in Rocks and Minerals, and asked for opinions on his work.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:48 pm
The meeting was called to order a 1:30 pm by president Virgil Lueth.