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Published works on the curation and conservation of mineralogical specimens are scarce. Of those which have been published, the following are recommended as the best general references in the field. Suggestions for additions to this bibliography are welcome and should be sent to Anthony R. Kampf.


American Association of Museums and the Association of Art directors (1985) Gifts of Property: A Guide for Donors and Museums. 25 p.

American Association of Museums (1978) Museum Ethics. 31 p.

American Institute of Conservation (1994) Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, published in the Directory of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. Washington, D.C., 21-34.

Brunton, C. H. C., Besterman, T. P., and Cooper, J. A., eds. (1985) Guidelines for the Curation of Geological Materials. Geological Society of London, Special Paper No. 17. [An excellent manual of working techniques and procedures on a wide variety of topics.]

Croucher, R., and Wooley, A. R. (1982) Fossils, Minerals, and Rocks: Collection and Preservation. British Museum (Natural History) and Cambridge University Press, 60 p. [A useful reference, although the coverage of minerals is very brief.]

DeMouthe, J. F. (2006). Natural Materials: Sources, Properties, and Uses. Butterworth - Heinemann Series in Conservation and Museology, 384 p. [A guide to natural materials in all their various forms, both natural and as they are likely to be found in collections.]

Dunn, P. J., Bentley, R. E., and Wilson, W. E. (1981) Mineral fakes. Mineralogical Record 12, 197-219. [Excellent reference on the techniques for faking mineral specimens and detection methods.]

Embry, P. G. (1987) Mineral curators: Their appointment and duties. Mineralogical Record 18, 389-390. [A brief, but insightful, analysis of (and commentary on) the duties and responsibilities of a mineral curator. This document was formally adopted by the Commission on Museums (IMA).]

Feldman, R. M., Chapman, R. E., and Hannibal, J. T. (eds.) (1989; reprinted 1997) Paleotechniques. The Paleontological Society, Special Publication no. 4, 358 p. [Great listing of chemical and mechanical preparation techniques that are applicable to rocks and minerals as well as fossils.]

Horak, J., Faithful, J., Price, M. and Davidson, P. (2016) Identifying and managing asbestiform minerals in geological collections. Journal of Natural Science Collections, 3, 51-61.

Howie, Frank M. (ed.) (1992) The Care and Conservation of Geological Materials - Minerals, Rocks, Meteorites and Lunar findsButterworth - Heinemann Series in Conservation and Museology, 138 p. [Excellent chapters on stability of minerals, effects of light on collections, preserving sulfides, and hazards to those working with collections.]

Leavens, P. B., and Berrett, K. R. (1997) Mineral specimen repair and restoration: Techniques and materials. Mineralogical Record 28, 87-94. [Good discussion of the techniques and materials used for mineral specimen repair and restoration, with examples. Also some discussion of the philosophical and ethical considerations. See also the editorial "Mineral specimen repair and restoration: An attitude check" by Kile and Wilson in the same issue.]

Malaro, M. C. (1985) A Legal Primer on Managing Museum Collections. Smithsonian Institution Press, 351 p.

Nudds, J. R., and Pettitt, C. W., eds. (1997). The Value and Valuation of Natural Science Collections. Geological Society of London, 276 p. [Not just minerals, but useful information.]

Pearl, R. M. (1975) Cleaning and Preserving Minerals (Fourth revised edition). Maxwell Publishing Company, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 86 p. [Although intended for the amateur mineralogist / collector, a useful reference for the curator.]

Rose, C. L., and De Torres, A. R., eds. (1992). Storage of Natural History Collections: Ideas and Practical Solutions. Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, 343 p. [95 authors present 113 short articles describing their solutions to storage problems.]

Rose, C. L., Hawks, C. A., and Genoways, H. H. (1995). Storage of Natural History Collections: A Preventative Conservation Approach. Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, 458 p. [Provides the basic information required to select storage approaches that are appropriate in a particular set of circumstances, and to make informed judgments about all aspects of collection environments.]

Sharpe, T. (1983) Geology in Museums: A Bibliography and Index. National Museum of Wales, 128 p. [An extensive, though not exhaustive, bibliography of geomuseological literature.]

Sinkankas, J. (1972) Gemstone and Mineral Databook. Winchester Press, 346 p. [A good source for information on the properties of minerals including data on cleaning and preserving minerals and detecting faked specimens.]

Thomson, G. (1986). The Museum Environment (2nd edition). Butterworth - Heinemann Series in Conservation and Museology, 308 p. [Covers light, humidity, air pollution, problems and solutions.]

Thompson, J. M. A., ed. (1992) Manual of Curatorship: A Guide to Museum Practice (2nd edition). Elsevier, 776 p. [A comprehensive reference on all aspects of curation, with good treatments of management and conservation of mineral collections.]

Waller, R. (1980) The preservation of mineral specimens. American Institute of Conservation, 8th annual meeting, Reprint 116-118. [The best general reference in the field of mineral conservation.]

White, R.D., and Allmon, W.D., eds. (2000) Guidelines for the Management and Curation of Invertebrate Fossil Collections including a data model and standards for computerization.  The Paleontological Society, Special Publication volume 10, 358 p. [Good general reference on managing collections.]

Wilson, W. E., and Currier, R. H. (2001) Mineral specimen mortality. Mineralogical Record 32, 329-340. [A sometimes humourous (in a dark sort of way) discussion of the calamities that can befall mineral specimens at the hands of Man. The numerous tragic stories should serve as a reminder of the damage even curators can cause, if we're not careful.]


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