Sunday, September 15, 2013

Missing Arizona Museum

The following is a guest post by an anonymous contributor:

In an article in the September 2013 issue of Rock & Gem magazine, Bob Jones wrote a short history of the discovery of copper and other mineral wealth in the 1800’s in the Arizona Territory and how that discovery helped the territory become a state in 1912. 

He wrote of the thousands of collector mineral specimens that came out of the different mines in Arizona.  That these specimens were used for scientific study and display in museums the world over, but that Arizona’s mineral collection is no longer available for people here to enjoy.

He wrote of the 128 year history of the State Mineral Museum where many copper and other minerals specimens were displayed and about the museum’s senseless and untimely closing in 2011, just before the state’s 100th anniversary of statehood. 

He told of Arthur L. Flagg as State Mineral Curator and the founder of several mineralogical societies, how Mr. Flagg led field trips and encouraged collectors to display their collections at the State Fair.

He talked of the stamp mill, headframe, and steam locomotive and how volunteer miners and rock and prospecting club members pitched in to relocate the mining equipment for display at the museum.  He explained how much fun folks had at the annual Family Day.

He said that the only place in Arizona to see rocks and minerals is at the U of A mineral museum and that some of the Flagg Foundation minerals are displayed there.

He talked about the Earth Science Museum volunteers and their endeavor to build a new museum to once again help teachers and school students to learn about the earth sciences.

He spoke of the boondoggle of events perpetrated by the AZ Historical Society and Centennial Commission.

In his final paragraph, speaking of the many visitors that come to the state for the Tucson and Quartzsite shows he said “Failing to exhibit the state’s most important mineral collection to these visitors is ridiculous.  It would seem that supporting the establishment of a superb mineral museum touting Arizona’s in-organic wealth is a no-brainer.  Apparently, however, it is the state’s officials who are the no-brainers!”

Arizona’s Missing Museum
A fine mineral collection seeks a new home
by Bob Jones, Rock and Gem, Sep., 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Internal Control Problems at Arizona Historical Society

The Arizona Auditor General conducted a limited procedural review of “cash receipts, cash disbursements, purchasing, payroll, journal entries, transfers, capital assets, collection items, and compliance with Arizona Revised Statutes”. The report includes five findings:

1: The society should strengthen its controls over cash receipts.
2: The society should maintain an accurate capital assets listing.
3: The society should strengthen its controls over collection items.
4: The society should comply with Arizona Revised statutes.
5: The society should comply with state travel policies.

Finding number 3 is of considerable concern since the hostile takeover of the mineral museum transferred the 20,000 specimen state mineral collection to the AHS. The mineral museum had a complete, current, and accurate catalog of the specimens. Is that control being lost following the transfer to the AHS?

Furthermore, some specimens displayed at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show by the AHS had been renumbered. That is a concern, because the AHS took only the specimens, not the supporting data files. Those files were later salvaged by the state geologist. If the AHS renumbers only the mineral specimens, will the connection between mineral specimens and supporting data be lost?

Procedural Review, Arizona Historical Society, Office of the Auditor General, State of Arizona, Financial Audit Division, February 28, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Volunteers mitigate Arizona Historical Society damage

Prior posts documented how the Arizona Historical Society executed a hostile takeover of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum. Subsequently, they destroyed the mineral museum and the K-12 education programs that many teachers depended on for earth science education support.

Former mineral museum volunteers are therefore taking earth science education programs to the schools. Not as many students can be served as when school buses brought students and teachers to the mineral museum, but the current outreach program is expanding. New volunteers are currently being trained to serve as many students as possible.

Details on the outreach program are available at