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Josep Miralles

Josep Closas i Miralles was born in Barcelona, Spain on December 29, 1900. He studied geography in college, and between 1920 and 1930 he was a member of several Catalan societies including the Muntanyenc Barcelones club, the Centro Excursionista de Cataluña and the Institución Catalana de Historia Natural. During this period he published several works about the minerals of Cataluña in the Butlletí de la Institució Catalana d'Història Natural.

In 1923 he joined the military and was deployed to Morocco, then at war with Spain. His unit was assigned to road construction in the rear, escaping the dangers of the front.

Following his return from Morocco he married Maria Redonnet Tintoré, and after the terrible years of Spanish Civil War, he worked for various engineering companies, including a company called "La Alquimia," prospecting for bauxite deposits in Cataluña and in Ecuatorial Guinea (which that in those days was a Spanish colony). He published several articles on geology including two monographs devoted to the economic geology of coal and bauxite. However, in his last years, the management of the "Suministros Escolares y Científicos" library, founded with his wife, Maria Redonnet, occupied most of his time.

In the 1950s he established a bookshop called Suministros Escolares y Científicos ("S.E.C." on his mineral labels), located in University Square in the heart of Barcelona. Among other items he sold mineral specimens, and was one of the first mineral dealers in Barcelona.

Josep Closas died in Barcelona in August 1962. He had formed on important collection of minerals (about 2300 minerals and rocks) which was donated by his family in 1997 to the Valentí Masachs Geology Museum at the Polytechnic University if Cataluña in Manresa (Barcelona) where it is preserved today.

Carles Martin Closas (2007) Treballs of the Societat Catalana de Geografia, No. 63, p. 201-206
Societat Catalana Geografia.
Juan Miguel Casanova, personal communication.
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