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 Salvador College     

The Colegio del Salvador was a Jesuit private school for secondary education founded in 1871 in Zaragoza, Spain. The Colegio maintained a natural history collection, including several thousand mineral specimens, for the benefit of students studying there. About 500 of the mineral and rock specimens had been acquired in the early 1870s from Felipe Naranjo y Garza ( 1809-1877), a famous Spanish mining engineer, mineralogist and Professor of Mineralogy at the School of Mining Engineers in Madrid. Naranjo was the author of one of the first modern mineralogies written in Spanish: Elementos de Mineralogía General, Industrial y Agrícola ("Elements of General, Industrial and Agricultural Mineralogy"), published in Madrid in 1862. Previously, in 1859, (Naranjo had donated a similar collection of 701 mineral specimens to the school of Mines in Madrid).

Also from the 1870s is a spectacular 20-cm specimen of halite withj 4-cm crystals from Remolinos, Aragon, Spain, donated by Geronimo Borao (1823-1878), an author and politician from Aragon, who was rector of the Literary University of Zaragoza. Another noteworthy specimen is a large, transparent cleavage plate of selenite from Laluenga that was donated by José María Araza. It measures 4 x 37 x 48 cm.

In a catalog of the Spanish minerals in the Salvador school's collection prepared by Valero (1907), donations from various other people are noted as well. The most numerous collections were those from Marcelino de Cambra and Adolfo Lizón. Also Lucas Malla donated two specimens, a "cubic galena" from Fuente Obejuna (Córdoba) and a "fluorite morada " from the same locality. Some Jesuits living in the Philippines donated a number of pieces including (remarkably) a specimen of crocoite crystals on matrix from Berezovsk, Russia (misidentified as "realgar").

Longinos Navás Ferrer (1858-1938), a Jesuit priest at the Salvador school, was known worldwide for his studies on entomology, and particularly on the Neuroptera. He described 388 new insect genera and 2,684 new insect species. Between 1892 and 1933 Navás served as curator of the entire collection of natural sciences of the Salvador school, including minerals. Navás completely reorganized the mineral collection, affixing an adhesive label to the majority of the specimens, in his handwriting, with the name and locality of the mineral. In some cases the cardboard label (like the one shown here) that must have been present next to the specimen in the exhibition cabinets has also been preserved. The Naranjo specimens that have been identified from among the material deposited at the University of Zaragoza all have a label in the handwriting of Navás.

In 1988, the mineral collection of the Colegio del Salvador was transferred to the University of Zaragoza; it was installed in the auditorium building and opened to the public in 1992. In 2006 the exhibit was closed while the building was being renovated. On December 11, 2015, the mineral exhibit was reopened in the University's new Museum of Natural Sciences.


CALVO REBOLLAR, M. (2018) La colección de minerales del Colegio del Salvador, actualmente en el Museo de Ciencias Naturales de la Universidad de Zaragoza. Naturaleza Aragonesa.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record -  Salvador College Drawer label with small glue-on label.
Courtesy of the Museum of Natural Sciences of the University of Zaragoza.
The Mineralogical Record -  Salvador College Postcard ca. 1910 showing some of the bird and mammal exhibits at the Salvador College Museum. (Courtesy of Miguel Calvo Rebollar)
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