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[ A couple of people have suggested this should get around my
moratorium. Since the information seems somewhat significant and
new, I'm making an exception for it. -- MR ]
I thought I would drop you a line to let you know there is someone
already working on an international fossil registry. Timescale
Adventures is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt public organization
that is dedicated to promoting scientific research and public education
and involvement. We have had a fossil registry for objects in private
collections in operation for over a year. We document the specimen,
enter the information in our database, and take an easement on the
specimen so that the owner is legally bound to notify us about any
change in condition or location of the specimen. This includes sale of
the specimen, and the easement is binding upon any new owners as well.
Part of the easement allows us to arrange, under reasonable
circumstances, for interested professionals to view the specimen at its
location, but the owners are not required to send the specimen to
anyone. The ownership information is kept confidential, and thus the
owners are protected from unwanted inquiries. However, pictures of the
specimen, dimensions, discovery locations, etc., are available to all.
We are currently working on a virtual museum that will house these
displays. We will be on-line in January, 1997, but it may be some time
before the displays are in place.
I am working on grants and sponsorships for this project, but I have
found that, until something is on-line and the system is working, no one
wants to contribute to the cause. So, until we start receiving funding,
we are limited to volunteer time and effort.
I am sure that, within the next few months, this situation will work
itself out, and the Timescale Adventures fossil registry will become
more widely known and used. I would be happy to send more information
on this project to anyone interested.
Dave Trexler (email@example.com)