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Mine Exploration Forum

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Roger L

Joined: 01/06/2010
Location: Huddersfield

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Posted: 14/10/2017 14:06:13
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As I am getting on in age, I have been trying to sort out what to do with all my mining maps and equipment. To make it easier for my wife I contacted the 'National Mining Museum' to see if she could give them every thing I had.
I should add I have over 20 lamps plus mining equipment including a miners dial plus over 100 old mine plans plus books etc. I thought the NMM would welcome these with open arms. No they would want to see what there was and pick what they wanted. I told them my maps start where theirs stop. No my wife could not give them everything.
I contacted the local Library who have a mining section, no they have nowhere to store it. I spoke to the local university, no they would not want it.
Has anybody else thought about this and solved what to do with their vast collection other than sell it on EBay?

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Blober

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Joined: 16/12/2012
Location: Anglesey

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Posted: 14/10/2017 15:26:12
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An interesting conundrum.

Most museums/archives don't have the money or space to take on big collections. Having to pay someone to go through it all, catalog it, maybe even paying a conservation specialist to do work on them. Suppose it all adds up.

I suppose the only options are, ebay like you said, i'm sure people on here would be willing to take on a few things as well.

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grahami

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Joined: 29/01/2007
Location: Telford, Shropshire

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Posted: 14/10/2017 15:50:24
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A problem that has bothered me for some years - fortunately I have little actual physical things of any note, most of my stuff is books, papers and maps. What I can scan/photograph thats relevant I intend to put on here - time permitting, which is inevitably the problem. Books are more tricky - and artefacts etc.

Grahami

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Roger L

Joined: 01/06/2010
Location: Huddersfield

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Posted: 14/10/2017 16:14:15
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Grahami. I am glad to see others are aware of this problem. When Hay Royds shut down I obtained about 100 plans from them. Some of them where 'seam plans' which cover up into Scotland and down to the Midlands. Also there was the mines own plans which stretch over to Woolley Colliery.
In addition I have Geology plans and books. Two section plans have been put on this site.
It is a problem.


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IP: 82.6.216.127 Edited: 14/10/2017 16:16:31 by Roger L
Graigfawr

Joined: 04/11/2009

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Posted: 14/10/2017 16:54:08
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My day job is in the archives and museums sector so it might be useful if I gave an insight and explanation from the 'other side of the fence'. I have no knowledge at all of Roger L's collection so these observations not specific to his collection in the hope they might be useful to aditnow members more generally.

These notes pertain to public museums and archives. Privately owned collections are different entities that might potentially be sold or dispersed when current owners retire, die, or experience financial issues. Broadly public collections will be in the ownership of local authorities (e.g. county councils), national bodies (e.g. the various national museums) and, increasingly, charitable trusts as some local authorities due to austerity are hiving-off non-profitable activities to trusts. The long term survival of trusts is an unknown matter.

Public museums and archives have collecting policies which set out what they will collect and what they will not. These are public documents and will be online in some cases and available if requested if not online. Collecting policies will define the geographical area the institution will collect from - e.g. county museums and county archives will collect material from or relevant to the county that they serve. Collecting policies for specialist institutions such as the three national coal mining museums for England, Scotland and Wales will also have subject limitations - in this example it will be the coal industry, coalfield communities, etc. but not, I presume, non-ferrous metal or slate mining. A few institutions may have time limits to what they collect - e.g. a Roman museum.

Long-established museums and archives tend to have large collections with commonplace items already well-represented. Most institutions have far more in reserve storage than on display due to either limited size of display space, or reflecting that some collections are not prime display material - e.g. a lot of archaeological finds are useful for research and study but only the best preserved are generally interesting enough to most visitors to merit displaying. The considerable costs of collecting, documenting, conserving, indefinite storage in climate controlled stores, and display, limit what can be added to collections. Very few institutions have sufficient resources to collect on a large scale and without being selective. This has always been the case, and public funding cutbacks in the ongoing period of austerity has exacerbated this.

Objects, documents and photos collected by museums and archives must all be conserved and stored to the same high standard, except for limited specified 'handling' or 'education' collections which are separate to the main or 'permanent' collections, and will in a sense be 'sacrificial' as objects handled by school parties and taken to events are at heightened risk of damage or loss. Institutions accepting donated objects should always make clear to donors or sellers which collection the material will be going into.

The policies and procedures that public museums and archives work within are purposely framed to make it difficult to dispose of material. Disposals from the 'permanent' collections have to have approvals from senior management and boards of trustees, with detailed justifications as to why disposal is proposed. Typical reasons are excessive deterioration or infestation or a review of the collection having shown that a portion of a collection is well outside the institution's collecting field. Public museums are obliged to consult with the original donors (if they can be traced) and to offer the material to other museums for free through a listing in Museums Journal; if no expressions of interest are received then non-accredited museums and collections can be approached and as the last resort the object being disposed of can be offered for sale or, if there is little prospect of sale, it can be dumped. This laborious procedure dissuades most institutions from disposals unless there is a very good reason to prompt all this work.

Many public museums and archives will decline xeroxes and other copies of maps, photos and documents that are copied from material in other public collections. This saves them from the cost of preserving copies for ever when the originals are available for consultation in other public collections.

Larger archives and museums generally already possess the 'obvious' material within their collecting field and will not generally seek to collect further multiple examples unless they have some especially important connection: e.g. a large mining museum will probably possess multiple examples of the standard types of twentieth century miners' lamps and would probably only seek another duplicate if it came from a major event such as a mine disaster or had been used by a particularly well-known person.

Private collectors may seek a home for their collections in their entirety. However private collections often are much wider in scope than the collecting fields of the museums they approach, and may contain a good deal of material that is already well-represented in the public museum's collection. It would be unusual for the public museum to agree to take the entirety of the public collection in such circumstances. Instead, the museum would probably seek to be selective in what it sought to collect, concentrating on filling gaps in its existing collection, and not seeking to collect material that fell outside its collecting field - which might be geographical, time -based or subject-based, or a combination of such parameters.

These notes and the hypothetical examples they contain are general, to help inform aditnow members. I have no knowledge of Roger L's collection and none of these notes are observations on his collection or on the museum he approached. I hope these notes may have been useful.
IP: 94.194.73.100 Edited: 14/10/2017 16:54:32 by Graigfawr
AR

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Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Posted: 14/10/2017 21:24:03
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I wouldn't get too upset about the NMM not wanting to take your collection in its entirety; as Craigfawr has already set out in some detail museums and county archives do not have unlimited space and resources and do have to be selective about what they accept. When large collections do get passed on to trust archives they may have to split it or even dispose of some - this is happening right now with the Beck/Nash archive where Doug Nash left it all the the BCRA, but the British Caving Library have been passing the mining material over to PDMHS, and we in turn have been depositing the manuscript/original material in the Derbyshire Record Office and just keeping copy/publication at the Mining Museum.

Nice though it would be to keep it together, it's just not realistic to do this - the BCL haven't got space, neither has the Museum, nor the controlled environment to keep original materials, so we're trying to get the various parts to where they are most appropriate and can be best cared for.

I'd suggest you let the NMM look over what you've got and see what they haven't already got. Any original West Yorks material they don't want, ask the county archive and likewise any tools/lamps they've already got examples of, I'm sure there are plenty of collectors that would give them a good home!



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John Lawson

Joined: 09/12/2010
Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

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Posted: 14/10/2017 21:46:23
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Hi, as a definate, aged member of this site, I would offer the following suggestions:
Any lamps and memorabilia I would put, as you suggest on E-bay, just one or two at a time!
Museums, have little space and consider, and that too many deposits are being given to them( this is not a public statement, but one found out by discussion and observation with museum, curators),
Maps are a a different proposition, best bet here I think is list them and offer them- free to a good home, the receiver to pay for P & P, and you not despatching anything until payment is received.
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Jim MacPherson

Joined: 02/09/2015

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Posted: 15/10/2017 07:46:09
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I've been through a similar, if much smaller and lead mining based, problem from the opposite end when sorting out our parents' collection. Fortunately Killhope took quite a bit, we kept some - sparkly,minerally bits and the miners' lamps (just two!) etc. We have digitized most that could be, including a number of plans/maps, that can be expensive although I've done a few by blu tacking them to a picture window and fiddling around with with lighting and the result was OK.

I suspect other advice will be offeredSmile

Jim
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ChrisJC

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Joined: 13/10/2007
Location: Northants

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Posted: 15/10/2017 10:37:28
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CATMHS has been fortunate in being able to have the BGS scan it's collection of mine plans which have been placed on the website. We have then been able to disperse plans to the appropriate museums / archives in which they are best located.

Chris.
IP: 94.126.234.198
Chalcocite

Joined: 02/07/2017

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Posted: 15/10/2017 10:39:34
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It's a very interesting topic with some very good responses. It's also a very worrying subject as serious enthusiasts such as us spend our whole lives building the most complete and comprehensive collection that we can. But it's a thing we will all have to face as we approach the end of our lives. It's heartbreaking to let your collection go. As it's builder you want to see it pass into hands of people who will take it on further and value it. Museums are the obvious first destination I guess but these are often, such as our local institution not even run by a qualified person capable of appraising what they're being offered in any case. And the people who are there dont care or know much either. I'm afraid this is the fate for all collectors. But it's just a cycle because our collection were once someone else's which has been broken up.


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ebgb

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Posted: 15/10/2017 23:25:51
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talk to the Northern Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers in Newcastle perhaps

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droid

Joined: 31/10/2010
Location: Tamworth

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Posted: 16/10/2017 13:04:50
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The problem with 'collecting' is that various 'collections' tend to duplicate one another.

I collect model railway locos. My collection of Lima Class 55s duplicates a mate's collection of Lima Class 55s....almost, because mine isn't complete (yet)....

I'd guess the same would apply to literature collections and more readily obtainable artifacts.
Hence the choosiness of Museums.
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AR

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Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Posted: 16/10/2017 22:04:09
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Eeeh, I 'ad one o' them when I were a lad... from recollection mine was Alycidon, sold it and all my other model trains many moons ago though.

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droid

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Posted: 17/10/2017 06:49:28
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The real Alycidon is my avatar on UKC......Laugh IP: 31.185.37.196
AR

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Posted: 17/10/2017 21:02:31
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Couldn't interest you in a 1982 vintage Deltic farewell souvenir poster, could I? Wink

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Oh God of Sarcasm, thanks for everything...
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droid

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Posted: 18/10/2017 04:22:27
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Yes!
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AR

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Posted: 18/10/2017 12:49:49
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PM sent!

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Mr.C

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Posted: 18/10/2017 16:27:58
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Back to "Aged Members" topic.
The main thing is to stay healthy & avoid beta blockers. They tend not to work very well, if you have to take beta blockers. Wink

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royfellows

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Posted: 18/10/2017 16:55:51
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Confession, I had to look up what you are talking about.

A bit peed off with age thing, 73 in January and training 4 nights a week at karate and aikido, working weekends on concreting and 'sponsored RSJ lifting'.

I think different people live in different worlds.

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Paul Marvin

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Posted: 18/10/2017 18:52:04
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Mr.C wrote:

Back to "Aged Members" topic.
The main thing is to stay healthy & avoid beta blockers. They tend not to work very well, if you have to take beta blockers. Wink


I took them in a small dose for a short while a couple of years ago and yes they do make you feel very lethargic luckily dont need them now,I thought they were the devils drug !

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