The Mineral Collection at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales has its origins in the collections of the Old Cardiff Museum. Contained within this were many Welsh specimens, including those from S. Vivian, operator of the local Mwyndy Iron Mine. The collections were significantly enhanced by the purchase of the G.J. Williams Collection, in 1927. This important suite of specimens included much classic material collected from working mines from Central and North Wales. The collections were also enhanced by the first Keeper of Geology, F.J. North, who published on, and fostered interest in mineralogy, especially that of the South Wales Coalfield (e.g. North, 1916; North & Howarth, 1928).
The greatest expansion of the Mineral Collection has occurred in the last 25 years, following acquisition of the R.J. King Collection in 1983 and by the additions of various research collections. These include those of J.N.M. Firth (South Wales Coalfield minerals), J.W.G. Gilbey (Dolgellau Gold-belt), J.S. Mason (Central Wales Orefield), and R. Metcalfe (Builth Wells hydrothermal minerals). A further, major period of enhancement took place during the MINESCAN project (1996-2000), so that today, the Mineral Collection represents the most comprehensive research resource available on Welsh mineralogy.
MINESCAN, a partnership project between Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and the Countryside Council for Wales, involved field visits to every remaining metal mine and many other mineral localities in Wales, in order to assess their importance as mineralogical and/or metallogenic sites. During the course of this four-year study (1996-2000), many important new mineralogical sites (and specimens) came to light and many new data presented here stem directly or indirectly from MINESCAN.
North, F.J., 1916. The minerals of Glamorgan. Transactions of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society, 49, 16-51.
North, F.J. & Howarth, W.E., 1928. On the occurrence of millerite and associated minerals in the Coal Measures of South Wales. Proceedings of the South Wales Institute of Engineers, 44, 325-348.
Bevins, R.E. & Mason, J.S., 1997. Welsh metallophyte and metallogenic evaluation project: Results of a minesite survey of Dyfed and Powys. CCW Contract Science Report No. 156, National Museums & Galleries of Wales.
Bevins, R.E. & Mason, J.S., 1998. Welsh metallophyte and metallogenic evaluation project: Results of a Minesite Survey of Gwynedd. National Museums & Galleries of Wales.
Bevins, R.E. & Mason, J.S., 1999. Welsh metallophyte and metallogenic evaluation project: Results of a Minesite Survey of Clwyd. National Museums & Galleries of Wales.
Bevins, R.E. & Mason, J.S., 2000. Welsh metallophyte and metallogenic evaluation project: Results of a Minesite Survey of Glamorgan and Gwent. National Museums & Galleries of Wales.
How To Access The Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Collection
Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales aims to make information and samples available to the widest audience possible. For access to MINESCAN or other Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales data or samples, please contact the Museum, via the Contact Us page.