Date(s) - 10/11/2021
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

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Dr Kaihla Thorn

Curator, Edward de Courcy Clarke Earth Science Museum, UWA


Preventing Pandora’s box: the dos and don’ts of mineral curation and care


Wednesday 10 November 2021, 7.30pm

(venue opens at 7pm for socialising)



Edward de Courcy Clarke Museum, Geology Building,

The University of Western Australia, Crawley WA 6009

(see maps below)



The difference between a collector and a curator often goes unnoticed until the collector leaves the equation. A curator maintains a collection in such a way that anyone can pick up a specimen and find all its context within arm’s reach – what it is, where it’s from, who collected it, when it was collected, and why. Curators also deal with the eternal conflict between preservation and access. Where do we draw the line between visibility and accessibility of our treasures, and conservation of their colour, lustre and integrity?

If you have begun to wonder how best to care for your treasures in the long term, this workshop will provide a few pieces of advice and a list of basic resources to get you started. We will be covering collection data management, conservation, repairs, storage, and health and safety. 


Kailah completed her undergraduate degree at UWA in 2012 with majors in both Zoology and Geology. After completing her honours on a Holocene cave fauna at the Western Australian Museum in 2013, Kailah moved interstate to join the Flinders University Palaeontology team. While in Adelaide she had the opportunity to excavate numerous Cenozoic Australian vertebrate sites. She was employed by the South Australian Museum as an Information Officer – working with the public and collections – in 2015, went on to do her PhD and hasn’t left museum collections since. Her job now involves bringing order to the chaos that is 180,000 registered rocks, minerals, fossils and meteorites in the UWA collections.