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About  the Minerals Heritage Museum Qyartz crystals, Torrington, NSW

Why do we need a Minerals Heritage Museum?

Chalcedony from Gatton  area, south-east Queensland.
Chalcedony from Gatton area, south-east Queensland.

Minerals Heritage Museum

Display location:
Queensland Museum
Southbank, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
(Mezzanine Floor)

Display Hours:
Open daily from 9.30am - 5.00pm. Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day & Boxing Day. Open ANZAC Day from 1.30 pm.

General admission: Free.

About the museum
History of the MHM
Aims of the MHM
The MHM Trustees

About the museum
History of the MHM
Aims of the MHM
The MHM Trustees

If you want to view mineral and crystal specimens in Queensland, you have very few options available to you. With Queensland's secondary school curriculum now including earth sciences modules, it is more important than ever to educate our young about these wonders of nature, and to do that we need a resource like the Minerals Heritage Museum.

Minerals are naturally occurring elements, or compounds of elements, that each have a unique composition and internal crystal structure. Over 5,000 minerals have been identified by science, but the vast majority of these are either microscopic or quite nondescript to look at. The very best mineral specimens however, are extremely rare, beautiful and unique objects that look almost too supernatural to be a product of nature. Gems and precious stones are cut and polished examples of some of these beautiful minerals that humans have used to adorn themselves with for thousands of years.  

Erythrite from Mt Cobalt,  north-west Queensland
Erythrite from Mt Cobalt, north- west Queensland
(MHM specimen #60).

Queensland has a rich history of mining, and for over 100 years many beautiful mineral specimens made their way into the collections of the Queensland Museum, Queensland Geological Survey and the University of Queensland from rich the mining towns of Gympie, Charters Towers, Cloncurry and Mt Isa.  

What happened to Queensland's mineral heritage?
Unfortunately, due in part to a lack of funding, changing institutional focus and an absence of curation, a wonderful and rare public resource was eventually sold, damaged, pilfered and lost before being eventually removed from public view. Once the Queensland Museum moved to Southbank, and the University of Queensland's Geological Museum closed, there were no longer any decent displays of minerals open to public viewing in Queensland. Historic collections, now uncurated and uncared for, lapsed into disarray. Valuable and irreplaceable specimens were damaged, disappeared or even destroyed in the Brisbane floods of 1974.

The Mineralogical Society of Queensland forms the Museum
Recognising this vacuum, the members of the Mineralogical Society of Queensland set about creating our own museum, the Minerals Heritage Museum in 1987, with the ultimate aim of assembling and displaying a collection of finely crystallised mineral specimens open to the public in Queensland.

In the beginning the museum was but a dream for the future. It had no specimens and no display venue, but it had a great vision for what was required. A lot of effort was put in early so that the MHM gained approval from the Australian Taxation Office to operate as a not-for-profit body with tax deductibility status under the Cultural Gifts Program. The MHM saw this as an important avenue to gain the aid we required if we were to be taken seriously by serious collectors and mining companies. We made our prime aim to focus on Australian and Queensland minerals in particular, and to then concentrate on education, beauty and aesthetics when assembling the mineral collection. An administration by a Deed of Trust, and four trustees who attract no remuneration, was put in place. Follow this link to read more about the history of the MHM.

The Museum's Brisbane display
Our first curator, the late Ron Young, worked tirelessly to see the first permanent MHM display opened by the Chairman of Enertrade, Bernard Rowley, in 2004. The collection has grown considerably from purchases and donations by companies and individuals to now consist of over 700 mineral specimens. The very best of these specimens are displayed in five large display cabinets located within the Queensland Museum at Southbank, Brisbane. Although not large physically, it is by far and away, the finest mineral display in south-east Queensland.

~ Preserving Australia's Mineral Heritage ~
Copyright MHM 2015 - The Minerals Heritage Museum is a not-for-profit institution based in Brisbane.