Collecting Rocks and MineralsWritten by Gayle Olson
Rock and mineral collecting is a fascinating hobby which can be shared by entire family. Before you get started with your new hobby it is important to understand something about minerals.
Rocks are made up of one mineral, or a mixture of minerals. Minerals are made up of elements, which are simple substances which cannot be broken down into any other substance. Sometimes minerals are made of only one element, but most minerals are made up of two or more elements. Many minerals are made up of a large number of elements.
Minerals are often found as shapeless lumps. These pieces are called "massive". Some minerals can also form special shapes, which can help you to identify them.
The mineral is said to "grow" when elements that mineral is made of gets built up in layers on mineral's outside surface. Minerals grow into all kinds of rough shapes in spaces between other minerals around them. If a mineral can grow freely, such as on sea bed, or in hole of a rock, it may form beautiful crystals.
Museum CollectionsWritten by Gayle Olson
Museums are places where collections are preserved and displayed. Visiting a museum is a terrific opportunity to learn more about art, science, technology, industry and our favorite hobbies and collectibles. Many museums offer educational programs, newsletters, libraries and guided tours to help visitors have a better understanding of collections. Museum exhibits teach us all about world we live in. We may not be able to travel world in search of treasures for our own collections. When we visit a museum we can enjoy collectibles and other objects which have been gathered from every part of world.
How did museums start? The word "museum" comes from Greek word mouseion, which means "temple of Muses." The Muses were goddesses of arts whose lives were removed from cares of everyday life. One of first mouseion's was founded in Alexandria, Egypt in 3rd century B.C. Every sort of information which was of interest to scholars was collected. Scholars lived and did their research there. On display were objects of art, instruments used in astronomy and surgery, elephant tusks and hides of unusual animals. The Museum of Alexandria would today be known as a museum for scientific research.
In Middle Ages, cathedral treasuries and monasteries stored collections of ornamented objects such as cups and goblets which were used during celebration of mass and book covers and treasures which were relics of saints or martyrs. The public could only visit during special holy days or for feast day of patron saint of church.
It was during Renaissance that princes and noble families in Europe took a renewed interest in art and history. Many treasures were collected; objects made of gold, silver and other precious metals. Curiosities and objects from faraway places were collected. Wealthy families took great pride in collecting beautiful possessions. Private collections could be found all across Europe. From Denmark to Italy these private museos were visited by scholars, artists and other important people who were traveling continent. Some of these same treasures can still be seen in galleries of museums today.