As far as I know, the first time I ever collected a rock was almost 18 years ago on a beach in Sussex. During my childhood, I would always pick up interesting rocks and take them home with me (I guess that was a sign I was going to become a geologist).
My collection started to grow exponentially after deciding to study geology at university. Over the past few years, purchases from the Natural History Museum and local mineral markets have added to my collection. I also have a habit of collecting a lot of rocks during my geology fieldtrips:
To date, I have collected almost 270 specimens, but at the moment I don’t know the exact number of purchased specimens! Sometimes I look through my boxes of rocks, minerals and fossils (I have 7 ice cream boxes so far). Every time I do this, I’m reminded of the interesting specimens I own and the wealth of data that’s only recorded in my head or in geology notebooks.
Working with UCL’s Geological Collections has emphasised the fact that I should make a proper record of my collection – it’s a bit hypocritical to work in a place that demands a high standard of documentation when my own collection isn’t properly recorded! So in May, I decided to record my collection on an Excel spreadsheet and provide brief updates of my progress on the #NGCollection hashtag (NG = Nadine Gabriel). So far, almost all of my collected specimens have been recorded and soon I will be moving onto purchased and donated specimens.
There will be upcoming posts explaining how I decided to categorise everything, the numbering system I’ve used and highlights from my collection.