New mineral samples on display at museum

New mineral samples on display at museum

HOUGHTON — Two of Michigan’s universities are partnering up to make a mineral exhibit in the U.P. even better.

The A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum is already the official museum of the state, but thanks to a new collaboration with the University of Michigan and Michigan Technological University, it’s now even better. Thousands of mineral samples were stored at U of M, far from the public’s eye.

“Well, it was kept in the basement of one of the academic buildings at the University of Michigan’s campus in cabinets, pretty much neglected for the last thirty to forty years, not well used,” said A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum Executive Director Ted Bornhorst. “It had been used a lot and it had been quite active for a hundred plus years before that but, in recent times, not very much interest in it.”

The specimens will now be on permanent display at the museum as well as other satellite exhibits that Michigan Tech will manage. The collection contains more than a few rare minerals.

“The addition of the University of Michigan collection brings some more depth to our collection because they have localities, many localities, for which we do not have, old localities which are long gone,” said Bornhorst. “It brings historical legacy. The collection of 100 pieces of Douglass Houghton that he actually collected-this is it! That’s all there is, is what we will have now.”

This is just a small sampling of the 15,000 specimens that are in this collection and thanks to the collaboration between the two universities, they will all be preserved for the public to enjoy.