The Yorkshire Natural History Museum is a small museum containing geological, palaeontological, and palaeobotanical material predominantly from Yorkshire, including a significant collection of Lower Jurassic Fossils from the Lias of the Yorkshire Coast.
A dedicated conference space will be available to educate and inspire school trips and adult groups during the day, and host public lectures and seminars in the evenings.
They also have Europe’s very first publicly accessible fossil preparation and conservation laboratory. Here, up to 12 people at a time can learn how to prepare fossils and use a wide array of equipment provided to prepare their own! Students, researchers, and curators can freely use an additional preparation laboratory with ultrasonic preparation facilities, plus a separate dedicated acid preparation laboratory. 3D scanning, CT scanning, 3D printing, and hologram projection analysis equipment is available on-site for research.
A small café will also be open on site, offering an exclusively vegetarian and vegan menu to promote healthy living and reduce their museum’s carbon footprint, plus a gift shop.
The museum plans to continue growing their collection and ultimately develop a larger, permanent site in the future. Once open, the museum will pursue accreditation to secure the future of the collection and its use in scientific research!
The museum officially opens at 10am on Saturday 13th August, with special guests local palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax and Sheffield MP Gill Furniss attending the opening ceremony that morning. Following this the museum will be open every day 10am - 4pm (Closed Wednesdays). Extended opening hours are available for research.
Read more: Brand new Natural History Museum opening in Sheffield
The last issue of our journal edited by the late Matthew Parkes, this covers two well attended GCG events, "Making the Most of a Move" and "Collectors, Collections and the Geology of South West Britain" - a bumper issue indeed. Under our long standing open access policy, this month we are able to make this edition freely available via our website. It represents the culmination of many hours of hard work on the part of the authors and editor, and is well worth a read. Head over to the journal page now and download yourself a copy.
If you want access to our latest journals, including the popular Ethics and Pyrite Oxidation special issues, now is a good time to join GCG. You can do this online and get instant access via our Membership page.
At the end of November we held our 48th AGM, preceded by a series of short talks detailing work done around the world during lockdowns. It was great to see so many of you there. For those who weren’t able to make it, I thought it would be helpful to do a brief summary of what was discussed.
If you missed any of the talks, then they were recorded and you can access them by first logging into this website, and then visiting the AGM page at https://www.geocurator.org/agm2021
As members should hopefully be aware, we are in the process of converting our charity into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), following a vote at last year’s AGM. Unfortunately, even though our application was submitted in the summer, the Charity Commission have yet to process it due to a backlog of applications during the pandemic, which means that we are somewhat in limbo. While the conversion in its basic form is straightforward, there are several things that will happen as corollaries. We have a new vision and mission, which was actually developed in 2019 (https://www.geocurator.org/about-gcg), and a slightly tweaked committee structure which fits more effectively into our new CIO constitution. As well as this, the instigation of the CIO means that we will need a new bank account, and we have been looking at ways to streamline and develop our finances. The plan was to bring all this together and consolidate it at the 2021 AGM, but unfortunately this wasn’t possible. Therefore, the new posts introduced and filled at the AGM (Vice Chair and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator) must be regarded as co-opted posts under the existing charity constitution (and the same would be the case for the Communications Coordinator, but this post is currently vacant). As soon as we have our new CIO charity number, all the pieces will fall into place and we can proceed full steam ahead. While the delay is unfortunate, it is out of our hands and I hope members will agree that we should not let it hinder our progress unduly, and join me in keeping the bigger picture in mind.
Read more: News from the 48th GCG AGM: CIO progress, membership changes and DiSSCo developments
GCG is seeking new Trustees!
Are you passionate about geological collections, and would like to work towards improving them?
The Geological Curators Group (GCG) was established in the UK in 1974 as a voice and network for everyone who works with geological collections. It is a registered charity (no 296050) in England and Wales, currently in the process of converting to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). It is run by its members, for its members, on a voluntary basis. We welcome everyone, not just curators: our members are also museum and heritage volunteers, collectors, conservators, students, academics, educators, and everyone in between.
We recently updated our vision and mission, and you can find these on our website at https://www.geocurator.org/about-gcg.
We are currently seeking two new Trustees:
- Journal Editor
- Communications Coordinator (new role)
We will also be instigating a new Vice Chair role. The postholder will be selected from serving committee, and subject to a members’ vote at the AGM, as the Chair post is now. This post will help build strong leadership and continuity for GCG into the future.
The most important things for potential Trustees to have are a passion for geological collections, and time to dedicate to the organisation, but have a look at each role for more details. We are flexible and friendly, and we welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds.
All Trustee positions, subject to application and ratification at an AGM, are for three years, with a possible extension of a second term. They are voluntary posts, but expenses are covered when approved in advance. Trustees must be current members of GCG, and eligible to serve as a charity Trustee under the Charity Commission guidelines here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-essential-trustee-what-you-need-to-know-cc3. The committee meets three times a year, plus the AGM, and there is various work to be completed throughout the year. The CIO is running in parallel with the existing charity at the moment. Please do get in touch if there are any queries on this.
If you are interested in a role, please contact us to discuss, but please make sure your formal expression of interest reaches us as soon as possible - definitely by 1st November 2022.
GCG are deeply saddened to bring you news that one of our longest serving members and great friends, Stuart Baldwin passed away on 20th September, aged 91. Stuart was well known to many as the extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and cheery bookseller based in Essex, and seen at many festivals and conferences.
Stuart was born in Essex in 1930 and educated in Witney after being evacuated to Oxfordshire during the war. He had qualified as an electrical engineer as well as a pharmacist, and spent seven years as a medical representative in London. Following this he spent 15 years marketing computers for IBM before being moving into the field of lecturing about small business start-ups. In his spare time he was also a collector of both fossils and books, and in 1959, he set up successful businesses of his own making wonderful educational fossil replicas (official supplier to the Open University) and dealing in second-hand books, as well as running a small museum (with over 100,000 specimens) of Palaeontology and Zoology at Fossil Hall, in Witham, Essex. He wrote several books of his own, including ‘Dinosaur Stamps of the World’ and ‘A Beginners Guide to Second-hand Book-dealing’. He held a Guinness World Record, as the ‘world’s slowest student’ – taking 28 years to complete his science degree with the Open University, as he was kept so busy with his career, his small businesses and his family. He ‘retired’ in 1995, selling his replica fossil manufacturing business and museum to the Open University, but retained his second-hand books which he continued to sell for many years, and a visit to his collection never failed to unearth a few literary gems of interest. He started winding down his book-selling activities still further in 2001 by initially relieving himself of large numbers of reprints, nicely pre-empting the move into mass-digitization of journal back-issues – a wise move on his part. He closed his bookshop at this point, but continued buying and selling from his home. Stuart even took up a new hobby of bee-keeping in his later years in order to keep active. Stuart was always a great supporter of GCG and its work, becoming one of our earliest members in 1974, and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. We send our condolences to his family.