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Report of the First meeting of the European Branch of the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals

Venue: Museum und Presse Coffee Shop, Hall B1, Neue Messe Riem, Munich

Time and Date: 16:00 - 17:00 26th October 2001

Present: Peter Davidson, National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh; Jana Horak, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; Peter Tandy, Natural History Museum, London; Jochen Schlter, Mineralogical Museum, University of Hamburg; Terry Huizing, Cincinnati Museum of Natural History; Kay Schrmann, Mineralogical Museum, Marburg; Hans-Peter Schertl, Ruhr-Universitt Bochum; Fred Steinar Nordrum, Norwegian Mining Museum; Curzio Cipriani, Museo di Storia Naturale, University of Firenze; Jean-Michel Le Cleac'h, Ecole de Mines, Paris; Simon Philippo, Musee national d'Histoire Naturelle de Luxembourg; Gunnar Raade, Geological Museum, University of Oslo; Benjamin Rondeau, National Museum of Natural History, Paris; Giancarlo Parodi, National Museum of Natural History, Paris; Federica Zaccarini, Private, Italy; Giorgio Garuti, Universita di Modena.

This historic first meeting of the European Branch of the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (eSMMP) was organised in response to a genuine and positive movement among European members of SMMP to establish a forum for curators to discuss problems, exchange ideas and generally to bring mineral curators and conservators closer together. Using the SMMP membership roster and a list of participants at M&M4, e-mails were sent out to 55 curators across Europe. A meeting place and time was arranged so that SMMP members could also attend the IMA-MC meeting which was held immediately after the SMMP meeting.

As organiser of the first meeting, Peter Davidson opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to the meeting and thanking those attending for helping to give the European branch an enthusiastic start. In order to keep the meeting as informal as possible and to permit ideas and contributions from everyone; no strict agenda was followed. During the discussion the following points were raised and decisions taken: 

1.      eSMMP would not be run as a separate organisation. There would be no formal structure and no committee. Peter Davidson was asked to act as European co-ordinator and Jana Horak agreed to act as subscriptions officer. The yearly subscription would remain the same at $10/year. Members will be asked if they would prefer a subscription rate set in Euros (possibly 10-12/year). This can be sent to Jana Horak who will forward the money to the USA.

2.      A yearly meeting, open to all members of SMMP will be held during the Munich International Mineral Show. It will also be possible to organise extra meetings of the eSMMP during events such as IMA 2002 and M&M5 if members desire to have such a meeting. During and after the meeting, a number of members indicated that they had problems hearing what was being said during discussions. It was agreed that the Co-ordinator would seek to have the meeting moved to a new room if possible. The next meeting will be on Friday 25th October 2002 in Munich.

3.      Members will be asked if they think that an SMMP stand at future Mineral Shows would be a good idea. This could act as an information point for the Society as well as highlighting the work dome by Museums and the problems they face.

4.      It was suggested that future meetings of the eSMMP should be centred round a specific topic or theme (e.g. missing minerals, radioactive specimen storage, etc.)

5.      The possibility of setting up an eSMMP website was discussed. Members would be asked if they felt that it was a good idea. A number of options were explored, but the feeling of the meeting was that a "European Page" on the official SMMP website might be best.

6.      The Co-ordinator would seek to build-up a database of European curators/conservators. This would eventually be made available to all members once certain legal problems can be overcome.

The co-ordinator thanked all present once again for their attendance and the meeting was formally closed at 17:00.

Peter Davidson
24th December 2001

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