Reply To: Curation of Personal Collections

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Walter Stein

All very impressive methods for labeling, curating and storing fossil collections! Nice! Thanks all for posting your techniques. I’ve used the paper label methods in the past with mixed success. Since we deal mostly with larger vertebrates, I have tended towards Ronny’s method of white out with a fine felt tip pen painted right onto the specimen. These seem to last the longest and when drawn on using the fine pen and a magnification visor you can write very small and neat. The label can be removed easily with a little light abrasion (30 psi) from a Comco micro abrasion unit. For smaller specimens we encase in riker mounts when possible. Microfossils are bagged (labeled with a sharpie) and stored in plastic containers with site information.

All of our fossils are given a field number that begins with a two to four letter site designation (TD- stands for the Tooth Draw Site, ENS- Stands for Enigma Site, etc. etc.) , followed by a two digit number that refers to the year of collection (16= collected in 2016), followed by a 3-4 digit number representing the sequential order of collection. These, including site descriptions and locality data, are all logged into a field book and then later digitized into a PDF which can be printed and stored (though I am admittedly about 2 field seasons behind in digitizing these- very time consuming).

We do not have the funding for some of the larger museum sized curation cabinets, so we went with the next best thing… large metal mechanics tool storage boxes obtained from Home Depot. They are cheaper, can hold hundreds of small-medium specimens, are padded, and can be locked for safe keeping. See photos… ┬ábest wishes!

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