January 2014


Volume 17, #1                       January 29, 2014

SMMP Meetings
Meeting Agenda
President's Message
Meeting Minutes
SMMP Europe Report
Best Practices Project
SMMP Grant Program
Board Election
Job Appointment
Endangered Museum
SMMP Affiliations
SMMP List Server

Paying Dues

Board of Directors

Virgil W. Lueth (15)
New Mex
ico Bureau of Mines
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801

Past President &
Newsletter Editor

Anthony R. Kampf (16)
Natural History Museum
Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
90007, USA

Vice President
Katherine Dunnell (16)
Mineralogy Department
Royal Ontario Museum

100 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C6, Canada

Jean F. DeMouthe (16)
California Academy of Science
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118

Anna M. Domitrovic (15)
6118 W. Lazy Heart Street
Tucson, AZ 85713, USA

Board Members:

Julian Gray (14)
Tellus Science Museum
100 Tellus Drive
White, Georgia  30120

Alan Hart (15)
Department of Mineralogy
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD, England

Terri Ottaway (14)
Gemological Institute of America
5345 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA

Penny Williamson (14)
School of Earth and
Environmental Sciences
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522, Australia


Date: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014
Place: Crystal Ballroom
Tucson convention Center
Board Meeting: 3:30 - 4:00 PM
Membership Meeting: 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Program: 5:00 - 6:00 PM
Social Media in Museums; the New Normal
Meet the Curators Social: 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Casa Vicente
375 South Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ  85701
Located approximately one block southeast of the Convention Center
Hosted by Jim & Gail Spann
Tapas (appetizers), wine, beer and soft drinks provided.
Hard liquor is not included, but can be purchased.


Tucson Exhibit:
"Diamonds that are not diamonds"

This includes anything in your collection that has been called a diamond, but isn't. 
Examples:  Herkimer diamonds, Cape May diamonds, Mirabeau diamonds, rhinestones (not glass), and so on. We are trying to not include man-made materials, so no CZ, glass, or other diamond simulants. Most "diamonds" are water-clear quartz, but in some cases, they are other minerals such as topaz or zircon.

Please contact Jean DeMouthe if you are planning to participate in our exhibit at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show.

* * *


  1. Call to Order (Lueth)

  2. Introductions

  3. Approval of the Denver Meeting Minutes (Lueth)

  4. Treasurer's Report (Domitrovic)

  5. Membership Report (Domitrovic)

  6. Collections/Curators Committee Report (Lueth)

  7. Education Committee - Tucson 2014 and Denver 2014 exhibits, (DeMouthe)

  8. Best Practices Initiative (Lueth)

  9. SMMP Europe Report

  10. Board of Directors Election

* * *



I'm sure you folks from the higher latitudes are anxious to get to Tucson. It has been a brutal winter in North America and similarly so in parts of Europe/Asia. Hopefully the high pressure ridge will hold for your visit and we will stay dry and warm (unfortunately for those of us in the southwest, but we're kind of weird that way).

As the world economy begins to emerge from the great recession, hopefully funding of museums and their activities may improve. The burgeoning phenomena known as social media is becoming an increasingly important part of day to day living for many people. It is also provides a new vehicle for making the public and decision makers notice and value your collections. This year's program, prepared by Katherine Dunnell, will hopefully better educate us its importance. I hate to say this but as part of the "older generation" I know I am not properly educated or motivated on the subject. However, it is obviously important in the next generation of visitors and curators. I'm looking forward to the education. Perhaps you can justify increased funding to tap into this - maybe even come up with a proposal for SMMP?

An important aspect of the Tucson meeting is to elect the Board of Directors. Julian Gray, Penny Williamson, and Terry Ottaway terms are expiring. Please consider any changes you may want to make to the board and be prepared to nominate any candidates you might feel are effective. The current slate can also be returned office.

Jim and Gail Spann are also hosting a "Meet the Curators" social event again this year. I would like to publicly thank them in advance for their generosity. It is a great opportunity to share good fellowship after our meeting.

 Looking forward to seeing you all in Tucson,

Virgil Lueth, President

* * *

September 2013

Unfortunately, the minutes have gone missing.

* * *

Report on the joint meeting of the
IMA-Commission on Museums
and SMMP-Europe
Munich, Germany - October
25, 2013

Click on the link above to view the minutes.

* * *


"Best practices" documents are posted on the SMMP website:

BEST PRACTICES REPORT NO. 1: Research Sampling of Collections


We are actively looking for more volunteers to author other best practice documents.

* * *


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 and more details are posted on our website:

Grant proposals are due: August 1, 2013

* * *

Board of Directors election

Three board member terms will be expiring this year.
Please be prepared to nominate candidates and vote.

ard members whose terms expire this year are:

Julian Gray
Penny Williamson
Terry Ottaway

Term expiration dates of the other board members are provided in parentheses in the sidebar.

* * *

New Director at the National Mining Hall of Fame
Leadville, Colorado

National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum Appoints New Executive Director
Leadville, CO – January 14, 2014: After a nationwide search, the Board of Directors of the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum (NMHF&M) has appointed Dr. Stephen L. Whittington as its new Executive Director. Dr. Whittington brings more than 20 years of experience in leading successful museums, as well as an impressive background in academics, publications and community involvement. Most recently the Director of the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, Dr. Whittington is also Director of the Teozacoalco Archaeological Project in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Chairman of the NMHF&M Board of Directors, Paul C. Jones said, "We are very pleased to have someone of Dr. Whittington’s caliber as our next Executive Director. He brings to our organization sound knowledge and expertise in museum management." Jones continued, "We believe Dr. Whittington’s capabilities will take the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum to the next level of national recognition in order to achieve our goal of telling the story of mining, its people and its importance to the American public. We welcome Dr. Whittington as a key member of our organization."

A native of Denver, Colorado, Dr. Whittington has spent much of his career on the East Coast, serving as a Director on the Boards of several state and regional museum associations, including an appointment by the Governor of Maine to the State Museum Commission. Earlier in his career, he was involved in geology fieldwork, interned at a geological museum, worked as a paralegal on a case involving the uranium industry and now welcomes the opportunity to move back to Colorado and into the mining industry. Dr. Whittington will assume his responsibilities at the NMHF&M in Leadville in early March.

In addition to his post at the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, Dr. Whittington is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology there. He has also done archaeological research in several Latin American countries. Prior to his engagement at Wake Forest University he served as Director of the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine, was Project Coordinator of the College of Health and Human Development at Pennsylvania State University, Assistant Curator of Collections at the Wyoming Historical & Geological Society in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and he has served in several other related positions. Dr. Whittington holds a PhD. and an M.A. in Anthropology from Pennsylvania State University and an A.B. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. He is active in the Society for American Archeology and the Association of Academic Museum & Galleries among other professional organizations, and he has authored and reviewed numerous technical publications.

Steve and his wife Christine, a library director, have been married for 34 years and have two adult children, Daniel who lives in Denver, and Quinn who is attending Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. The Whittingtons engage in many pastimes and are avid pet lovers. The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, established by Joint Congressional Resolution in 1988, is the only federally chartered national mining hall of fame and museum, but is privately supported. Its support, activities, and focus are national in scope. Its mission is to "Tell the story about mining, its people, and its importance to the American public". The 20,000 square-foot museum in Leadville, CO, houses the 223 information plaques honoring the Mining Hall of Fame inductees as well as a comprehensive display of mining artifacts and information, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year.

* * *

Texas Memorial Museum at the University of Texas - Austin

The following is paraphrased from an email sent by Peter Megaw.

The University of Texas is proposing to slash the budget of Texas Memorial Museum. The TMM is the principal repository of a wide range of Natural Science materials from all over Texas and surrounding regions. The museum has been chronically underfunded for years and making it even less able to gather, curate and preserve materials before they are destroyed is a bone-headed maneuver akin to deciding to only subscribe to important research journals every few years.

There is a petition circulating to reconsider the cut... the link is below.


Note that the process ends with being asked to give a donation to the ipetitions website, but it is not required. 

* * *


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 Tucson meeting, help Anna by filling out a membership application with your dues payment. Do it beforehand and save time at the meeting!


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