Organization  Membership  Announcements  Publications  Mineral Museums  Site Map  Contact Us

Organization  Membership  Announcements  Publications  Mineral Museums  Site Map  Contact Us

Organization  Membership  Announcements  Publications  Mineral Museums  Site Map  Contact Us


Volume 12, #2                       September 2, 2009

SMMP Meetings
Denver Agenda
President's Message
Best Practices Project
SMMP Grant Program
Meeting Minutes
SMMP Affiliations
SMMP List Server

Paying Dues

Board of Directors

Virgil W. Lueth
New Mexico Bureau of Mines
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801

Past President & Newsletter Editor
Anthony R. Kampf
Natural History Museum
Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
90007, USA

Vice President
Jamie Newman
Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West @79th St.
New York, NY 10024, USA

Jean F. DeMouthe
California Academy of Science
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118

Anna M. Domitrovic
6118 W. Lazy Heart Street
Tucson, AZ 85713, USA

Board Members:

Bruce Geller
Colorado School of Mines

13th and Maple St.
Golden, CO  80401, USA


Terri Ottaway
Gemological Institute of America
5345 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA


Jeffery E. Post
Dept. of Mineral Sciences, MRC-119
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560, USA

Penny Williamson
School of Geosciences
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522, Australia


Date: Friday, Sept. 18, 2009
Place: Denver Merchandise Mart
Board Meeting: 1:30 - 2:00 PM
Membership Meeting: 2:00 - 3:00 PM

Denver Exhibit: "Pseudomorphs: Minerals replacing fossils"
Please contact Jean DeMouthe
if you are planning to participate in our society exhibit at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show.

* * *


  1. Call to Order

  2. Introductions

  3. Approval of the Tucson Meeting Minutes

  4. Treasurer's Report

  5. Membership Report

  6. Collections/Curators Committee Report

  7. Education Committee - Denver exhibit; Tucson program and case

  8. Best Practices Initiative

  9. New Business

* * *



Recession, depression, forced furloughs, budget cuts…so how is your museum doing? I'm sure the severity felt in any particular place depends on the financial situation in that city/state. Out here in New Mexico we never really soar with the boom, nor do we bottom out as deeply during the bust. Regardless, I believe museums and other public services receive a disproportionate amount of cutting when things get tough – even though we are entrusted with the public's treasures.
     My institution (and our state budget) revolves around a July – June fiscal year.  I've recently run the numbers on museum attendance, sales, and donations for the year-end reports. I noted our number of visitors dropped a bit last year, perhaps due to the high gas prices early in the fiscal year. Recently however, museum attendance has been very strong and is actually on a record pace. Is it an increased utilization of public facilities by a financially strained populace? Not to mention our free admission policy that entices folks to stop in. Although visitors were down last year, the museum gift shop sales were up! We have started selling more upscale material in our sales case and began to wholesale to dealers (we don't sell from the collections, only from donations - lest you get the wrong idea). From my business school days I remember it is always a good idea to diversify your clientele. Donations were strong in the first half of the year and have dropped precipitously since January. I interpret this pattern to a response to the economic bite even the wealthier are feeling.

     Living in the middle of the desert, on the least traveled interstate in the nation, I'm not sure how this information pertains your institutions. This led me to ponder, late one night during a bout with insomnia, what recessions/depressions actually mean to museums.  I'm ignoring the obvious budget cuts resulting from abandonment by "responsible parties" serving in state and local governments during tough times. Do more people go to museums more often during tough times? Are they willing to buy a "scientific" trinket (e.g. a mineral or fossil specimen) over other tourist "trash?" When the budget ax man comes to your institution, should we have some real data to support our arguments against cuts?

     I propose we do very short survey within our ranks, with some accompanying data (attendance, sales, donations over the last 5 years), that we publish in our newsletter this January. The survey should sample all sizes of institutions and perhaps we should explore the issue with more detail in Tucson (potential program topic?). Let's discuss this proposal at our next meeting.

     Looking forward to seeing you all in Denver.


Virgil Lueth, President

* * *


The first "best practices" documents about research sampling of collections are posted on the SMMP website:

BEST PRACTICES REPORT NO. 1: Research Sampling of Collections


We are looking for more in the series – please submit your idea to the board at the Denver meeting or contact Virgil Lueth (

* * *


No one applied again this year, but here is a reminder for your next fiscal year… 

The SMMP Grant Program Awards are to support curatorial research and methodologies that address one or more of the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP) mission statement goals: 1) foster recognition of mineral science collections as essential scientific, educational and cultural resources, 2) promote support for growth, maintenance and use of collections and exhibits and, 3) advance museum practice through cooperation in the development, review and dissemination of information. Amounts vary up to a maximum of $1000 per grant. Grant awards determined by SMMP Board of Directors. Grant applications are available on request. Applications are due

August 1st and award notification on October 1st. Guidelines are available on our website:

* * *

February 2009

Click on the link above to view the minutes.

* * *


American Geological Institute (AGI)

Natural Science Collections Alliance NSCA)

Although the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals maintains no official ties with the Commission on Museums (CM) of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA), the Commission resolved at its December, 2000, meeting in Melbourne, Australia, to support SMMP's efforts in uniting mineral museum professionals worldwide.

* * *


You are encouraged to interact with your fellow SMMP members via our list server:

Please remember that when you reply to an email sent via our list server, you will be replying to the sender, although you have the option of copying the membership.

Tony Kampf processes additions to and deletions from the list server. That way we limit the list to our membership and if a member decides that they want to be dropped from the list, Tony will know whether to send them the SMMP Newsletter by snail mail. Note that you are only able to send via the list server from your email address that is on the list server. This should be the same one that is used in our on-line roster.

* * *


SMMP dues are $10.00 U.S., payable to Anna Domitrovic, treasurer, 6118 W. Lazy Heart Street, Tucson, AZ 85713. Any directory changes or additions should be sent to Tony Kampf. In Europe, dues can be remitted to Peter Davidson, National Museums of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, SCOTLAND.

To make paying your dues easier (especially for non-US members), a PayPal account has been established and installed on our website. You can use your credit card or your own personal PayPal account. Just go to our Dues webpage.

Note that you can check your dues payment status on the SMMP on-line roster. The year shown in the last column indicates the last year for which you have paid. If you are delinquent, please remit your dues payment as soon as possible.

Remember to renew your membership. If you are planning to pay dues at the Denver meeting, help Anna by filling out a membership application with your dues payment. Do it beforehand and save time at the meeting!


Organization | | Membership | | Announcements | | Publications | | Mineral Museums | | Site Map | | Contact Us |

The Society of Mineral Museum Professionals
Webmaster: Anthony R. Kampf

Organization | | Membership | | Announcements | | Publications | | Mineral Museums | | Site Map | | Contact Us |

The Society of Mineral Museum Professionals
Webmaster: Anthony R. Kampf

Organization | | Membership | | Announcements | | Publications | | Mineral Museums | | Site Map | | Contact Us |

The Society of Mineral Museum Professionals
Webmaster: Anthony R. Kampf

Organization | | Membership | | Announcements | | Publications | | Mineral Museums | | Site Map | | Contact Us |

The Society of Mineral Museum Professionals
Webmaster: Anthony R. Kampf