The James Madison University Mineral Museum is located in Memorial Hall, near entrance E. (Grace St. side of building). The museum is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30 pm. The museum features over 600 crystal and gemstone specimens from around the world; they are arranged in the following displays:
Systematic Collection – arranged by chemistry and structure
Locality Collections – Elmwood, TN., Virginia Minerals
Fluorescent Mineral Display – Franklin & Sterling Hill, New Jersey – minerals glow under ultra-violet light
HISTORY OF THE COLLECTION
The collection began in 1976 under the curation of Dr. Lance E. Kearns. Initial support for the collection was generously bestowed by both the University of Delaware Mineral Museum and the Bryn Mawr College Mineral Museum. Gifts from several private collectors in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware were instrumental in the initial development of the display collection as well.
In 1989 the museum received a substantial monetary gift from the estate of the late Dr. Richard S. Mitchell (mineralogy professor, University of Virginia); followed in 1993 by an additional gift of $50,000 from the estate of his father, Mr. Clarence Mitchell of Nebraska. The Virginia Minerals collection is endowed through these gifts, as well as others from alumni and friends of the collection, by the James Madison University Foundation.
Through the initiative of Dr. David Brakke, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, a new, secure museum facility was constructed during the summer of 2007. The grand opening of museum was celebrated on October 13, 2007.
Website Acknowledgments: Dr. Lance Kearns, Dr. Anna Courtier, Benjamin Kelley, Nicole Wilson, Kevin Hegg, Hyler Fortier, Jessica Romanelli
Robert Klopfer and Alex Kopylov would like to thank Dr. Kearns, Dr. Courtier, and the JMU Geology faculty for the opportunity to construct the mineral museum website
Questions about the Museum can be directed to:
Dr. Lance E. Kearns, Curator
Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA. 22807