“The close study if minerals, rocks, fossils and other geological materials can
reveal much about their history and the significance to past geological research. They allow for testing and reproducibility of original results and observations, for comparison of modern and older classification schemes most significantly, they can suggest to modern researches the reasons why certain ideas originated in the mind of early geologists. The perceived and accepted significance of the collections may wax and wane with time. Some collections have suffered damage or neglect because they were deemed at the time to be of low significance and thus of low priority when it came to allocating time to their curation and adequate facilities for their storage. All geological specimens were acquired for particular reasons, but perhaps due to a combination of poor collecting or curatorial practices much significant information pertaining to the collection may have been either not originally available or subsequently destroyed. This radically decreases the value of the collection.”1 The Geological Museum of Guyana project is aligned with the roles and functions of the GGMC. “To act as a national repository for all information relating to geology and mineral resources which will facilitate an understanding of the resource base of the country”2 and “Research in exploration, mining, and utilization of minerals and mineral products”2. The geological museums are a great national asset and contribute to culture, research, science education and public engagement in a number of important ways.
Some of those aspects are: • Collections form an intrinsic part of research. They play a key role as a source of evidence in tackling a major challenges such a climate change and exploring for natural resources. • Geology is an important part of Guyana’s identity and the universal history of Geology. Collections tell an engaging story about the geological heritage of Guyana. • Museums and collections are crucial gateways to engaging students and the public in geology, earth history and science. • Local collections embody an important sense of place, different from centrally held collections, and tell a compelling story of local landscape in geology.
1.Patrick N Wyse Jackson, The Value of Geological Collections, Annals of Science, 56, 1999. 2. Guyana Geological Mines Commission Website, Functions & Roles of the Commission.