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Re: "Raymond" the triceratops

I have a problem with the collector retaining ownership of the 
fossil, despite the fossil being held in a museum.  It is certainly 
against the policy of the museum I work in that specimens published 
on are owned by private collectors.  As far as I know, no journal 
should accept a scientific paper describing material in private 
collections as there is no control, no proper registration, and no 
knowing what the intentions of the collector are WRT the specimen in 
the future.  No matter how scientifically inportant a specimen is, we 
cannot expect a museum to take on the responsibility of looking after 
such a specimen without full control.  I suppose the way round this 
is to give the owner special priviledges, invite them to exhibition 
openings etc, IF they donate the specimen to the museum.

There have been too many problems with private collection specimens, 
that have been published on, going missing or the owner having a 
misunderstanding with the museum staff and removing the specimens he 
legally owns.  There are just too many problems with long term and 
permanent loans from private collections of material that is, or 
will, be published on that these types of loans are abolished at this 
museum at least.

I hope this doesn't rile anyone, but it is important to understand 
why scientifically important specimens should be owned by a public 
institution and not the private individual.  I would like to know what 
the policy is in other museums on this matter, but please reply off 
the list as I think this discussion is of limited application to 
the dinosaur group here (perhaps of more relevance to the fossil_nut 


Neil Clark
Curator of Palaeontology
Hunterian Museum
University of Glasgow
email: NCLARK@museum.gla.ac.uk

Mountains are found in erogenous zones.
(Geological Howlers - ed. WDI Rolfe)