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Mick Cooper

Michael Philip "Mick" Cooper was born in Nottingham, England on October 11, 1946. He attended Bilborough Grammar School, and achieved spectacular good grades in his final examinations, enabling him to enroll at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology to earn his BA Degree in Chemistry. After graduation he worked for some years for the Ciba Geigy chemical corporation.

Being one of those rare individuals with a talent for both science and art, Mick was offered a faculty position in an art school. But he turned this down and worked instead at an art gallery in Manchester. In 1976, when Mick was only 30, he had a heart valve replaced. After recovering from the surgery he took a job at the Brewhouse Yard Museum in Nottingham in 1982, and in 1992 he was appointed Registrar for the Nottingham City Museums and Galleries. Following a divorce from his first wife, he married Catherine P. Foley in Nottingham in 1987.

Mick was a collector of minerals and mineral collecting ephemera for over 40 years, and wrote articles on minerals and the personalities of the mineral collecting world for Mineralogical Record (for which he was an associate editor), the UK Journal of Mines and Minerals (for which he was an editor), Lapis, Matrix and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

He was co-author (with Chris Stanley) of the book Minerals of the English Lake District: Caldbeck Fells (1990), and followed it up with and article, "Famous Mineral Localities: Pyromorphite-Group Minerals from the Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria, England" in the Mineralogical Record in 1991. In 2005 Mick published an article on "The Devonshire mineral collection at Chatsworth House: an 18th-century survivor and its restoration" for the Mineralogical Record and was instrumental in that restoration project. He also wrote many show reports on European mineral shows for the Mineralogical Record between 1992 and 2000. His magnum opus was the 358-page book Robbing the Sparry Garniture—A 200-Year History of British Mineral Dealers, 1750-1950, published in 2006 by the Mineralogical Record. In addition, he was well-known as a skilled mineral photographer with many published photos to his credit.

Mick was a member of the Museums and Galleries History Group, describing his interests as follows:

"I am particularly interested in the development of natural history collections, especially mineralogy and botany, particularly through the agency of natural history dealers. I am also keen to promote the value of museum archives for ‘introspective' collections research and documentation."

Mick attended the Rochester Mineralogical Symposium in April 2008, presenting two of the lectures, and seemed to be doing well, but he died of heart failure in his sleep on June 2, 2008. He will be remembered as a good friend, a great historical researcher, a first-class mineral photographer, a fine guitar-player, an engaging writer, and an interesting mind.

COOPER, M.P. (2006) Robbing the Sparry Garniture—A 200-Year History of British Mineral Dealers, 1750-1950, published by the Mineralogical Record.
HACKER, D. (2008) Personal communication.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Mick Cooper Mick Cooper
(April 2008)
The Mineralogical Record - Mick Cooper
The Mineralogical Record - Mick Cooper
The Mineralogical Record - Mick Cooper 22 x 26 mm,
Label for one of Mick's small Riker-mounted specimens.
The Mineralogical Record - Mick Cooper 35 x 50 mm
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