Collection of Mineral Specimens in China:History,Present Status and Future Plan
【摘要】：正The development of the mineral collections in the history of China has undergone three periods.From 1868 to 1945,it was the beginning of the mineral collections in China.There were five museums with small mineral collections started by foreigners.The Chinese people established three comprehensive museums with mineral collections and two specialist geological museums.During 1950s,the size of mineral collection grew rapidly.At the end of the 20th century,the museums with mineral collections faced great challenges because of the budget restriction of museums. Today,on the basis of the holders of the mineral collections,two types of museums can be cataloged: natural history museum and geological museum.Five natural history museums have a small part of mineral collections.The geological museums maintain more than 95 perce(?) of the geological specimens in Mainland China,and can be further classified into three subtypes:the national/provincial geological museums,the university geological museums,and institute/company geological museums. The National Geological Museum is the largest geological museum in Mainland China,and maintains about 28.0 percent of the geological specimens.It has the finest and most extensive collections of minerals.About 120.000 geological specimens,including 10.000 mineral and 3,000 gem specimens belonging to some 2000 species,have been well registered.There are twenty provincial geological museums,which hold about 30.4 percent of geological specimens.Fifteen university geological museums maintain 33.0 percent of the geological items.Some institutes and companies own a small collection of minerals and rocks.The collections of minerals in museums are mainly used for public exhibitions and teaching purposes.The studies on the mineral collections are very limited. For the future,the Chinese government needs to pass a law to control the geological specimens markets.Some kinds of specimens can be free for exchanges,but some should be controlled.More ways to collect mineral specimens have been suggested,including using the Internet to acquire information on mineral specimens and to exchange the samples.For education purposes,three levels of the collection exhibitions in geological museums have been proposed:the undergraduates,the yang students,and the community residents.