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Re: Private holotypes

At 04:25 PM 12/16/96 -0500, Jeff Poling wrote:

>   Perhaps if they had the time and resources to do so.  The fact is that
>most institutions do not NOW, and if suddenly they were made the stewards of
>ALL fossils what would happen then?  A millionaire with bucks to spare is in
>a better position to pay a professional to properly preserve a fossil for
>his home than is the typical museum.
>[ Some comments such as those in the last paragraph make me a bit
>  uneasy -- a major goal of any museum is to see to it that objects or
>  artifacts are *available* for study.  That doesn't mean the objects
>  have to be prepared and put on display in order for the museum to be
>  doing its job.  You may not like the part that museums play in
>  *curating*, but curation means a lot more than just having objects
>  visible for the public at large.  Sally, this might be a good time
>  for you to throw in your two cents again... -- MR ]

   I very much had curation in mind as well as display.  Regardless of
whether it is displayed or made available for study, you still have to
preserve it, there will probably be some preparation, it has to be
cataloged, and both the catalog and specimen must be stored.  None of this
is without a cost, especially storage given the very nature of fossils.  If
museums etc. are having problems with money to do this now, what happens
when they find themselves directly responsible for ALL fossils?

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