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16 September - Denver, Colorado

Board Meeting

Board members present:  Anna Domitrovic, Virgil Lueth, Jean DeMouthe, Tony Kampf, Terry Huizing, Paul Bartos, Mike Wise, Peggy Ronning, Penny Williamson

Board members absent:  George Harlow

The meeting was called to order a 1:30 pm by president Virgil Lueth.

Anna D. proposed that the treasurer do only one comprehensive report, at the annual meeting in Tucson.  The total in each fund would be presented at Denver, but no more.  This is the way the Arizona Corporation Commissions wants it.  She also wants to move money into long-term CDs for better interest.  Currently the money market account is getting 2.6% annual yield.

Kampf asked when should we take people off the list for non-payment of dues?  He has been doing it after three delinquent years. 

Lueth brought up the SMMP grants, and suggested a flier be prepared for Tucson.

Huizing suggesting mentioning the grant in the museum column of Rocks & Minerals.

Lueth reported on the collections committee activities:

The Philadelphia Academy is still planning to sell their mineral collections, but they have been pulling back portions of the collection from the sale.

Virginia Polytechnic Inst. in Blacksburg, VA has been offered money for the construction of a new geology building with the stipulation that it includes a museum.  Harlow & Lueth are on the advisory board for this project. 

Denver Nat. History museum is still looking for a mineral curator and is currently interviewing candidates.

Dmitri Belakovski (visitor, not on board) asked to speak to the SMMP members about the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow.  The Russian government wants to reduce the number of institutions in the country by two-thirds, and plans to merge museums and other institutions.  DB asked if SMMP as a group, and its individual members would write letters of support to keeping the Fersman from being combined with a dissimilar institution and moved across the city to an unsuitable facility.  The Fersman was founded in 1716 and holds over 500 mineral types. 

DeMouthe reported recent problems with sending global messages on the SMMP listserver.  She asked for ideas for the Tucson case.

Belakovski suggested that, since the theme of the show is Canadian minerals, SMMP mount an exhibit of similar mineral occurrences (things that look like they come from Canada).  There was general approval of this idea.

Huizing mentioned the need for a program topic for Tucson.   The members will be asked about it in the general meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 2:00 pm

General Meeting

The meeting was called to order by president Virgil Lueth at 2:05 pm.  Introductions followed.   Twenty-eight members and guests were present, representing Australia, Russia, Scotland, Germany, as well as the U.S.

The minutes from the previous meeting in Tucson were read and approved unanimously.

Anna Domitrovic gave the treasurers report and reminded members about their dues and the web site.  There is currently $5,509.05 in the checking account, and $8,009.05 in the money market account.  She asked to move money to CDs to get better interest.  This was generally agreed to be a good idea

Lueth discussed the grant program, encouraging people to apply.  Domitrovic will make a flier for distribution at the Tucson show.  The program was again described, and it was reported that no one had applied for a grant this, the first year they have been offered.  The deadline was August 1st.

Lueth, on behalf of the Collections Committee, led a discussion of the Philadelphia Academys efforts to sell their mineral collection.  They want to sell it as a whole, but have been taking back segments of the collection, and are gradually reducing the price.  Harlow & Lueth are on an advisory board for Virginia Polytechnic, and it has been suggested that VPI buy this collection.  He also reported that the search for a mineralogist at the Denver Nat. History Museum has been reopened.

Andrew Sicree reported that he visited the Philadelphia collection on behalf of Pennsylvania State Museum in Harrisburg, who is interested in keeping the Pennsylvania portion of that collection in the state. 

Bill Cook remarked that recently someone had been searching for documents and specimens related to the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Louisiana Purchase, and found them at the Philadelphia Academy.   Sicree said that the Lewis & Clark material is in a separate collection and will not be sold with the minerals.  Unfortunately, other museums may think this (selling collections) is a good idea, since Philadelphia is doing it.

Brian Jackson told the group about their building program at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.  They are spending over 16 million dollars (pounds?) on structural renovations.  The collections are moving to a new storage facility across the city, and most of them are currently in storage.  The geologic galleries have been removed from the museum and it is uncertain when funds will be available to replace them.

Lueth reported on the Fersman Museum situation (see Board minutes), and Belakovski added details on the background.  Members are encouraged to look at the Fersman web site at

Anna Domitrovic announced that she has retired from the Desert Museum in Tucson, and she introduced Chris Stevenson, who is the interim curator.  A job announcement will be forthcoming, hopefully before Tucson.  She also reported that the Desert Museum will be putting in an exhibition of minerals at the Tucson airport, in the corridor that links the main building with the rental car building.

DeMouthe discussed the SMMP case at this show (microcrystalline quartz) and asked for suggestions for Tucson.  Belakovski suggested a case of minerals from deposits similar to those in Canada, since the show theme will be Canadian minerals.

Terry Huizing asked for suggestions for the program at the Tucson meeting.  Submitted were: relevance of collections, diamonds in North America (topic refused), museum display techniques, and mineral identification methods.

Under new business, Tony Kampf discussed the list server problems, which are still undiagnosed.  He urged members to make sure e-mails are coming and going from the address that is on record with SMMP, which is the one used by the list server.  People with more than one e-mail address should check the membership list on the SMMP web site.

Lueth reminded members that three board members will be stepping down in Tucson and they should think about nominations. 

DeMouthe displayed copies of two museum-related journals:  Collection Forum (published by the Soc. for the Preservation of Natural History Collections; see & Collections (published by Altamira Press, see

The meeting was adjourned at 2:45 pm.

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