The Mineralogical Record
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 Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
(1952-    )

Founded in 1952, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is widely recognized throughout the world as a model institution for innovative presentation and interpretation of native plants, animals and minerals. Not a "museum" in the usual sense, it is an unparalleled composite of plant, animal, and geologic collections with the goal of making the Sonoran Desert accessible, understandable, and treasured. Today, this approach can be most easily understood by noting that the collections consist of 2,744 animals, 1,217 plant (an estimated 72,000 plants are found on the grounds), and 14,482 rock and mineral specimens (including 2,068 fossils).

The coore of the museum's mineral collection was a small but historic collection assembled by Arizona's first territorial geologist and Dean of the School of Mines, William Phipps Blake (1825-1910). Many private collectors donated specimens to help build the collection, but museum trustee Rukin Jelks personally donated thousands of specimens from his own superb collection. Eleven other important collections were also acquired, the most recent being that of Arizona collector Thomas N. McKee (1947-1988). In 1973 a bequest from Stephen Congden financed the construction of a dedicated exhibit facility, the Congden Earth Science Center, in which to store and display the mineral collection.

PANCZNER, W. D. (1980) The Congden Earth Sciences Center, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Mineralogical Record, 11, 234-238.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2020)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record -  Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 51 x 76 mm
Label from a specimen from the Charles Towle collection
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