Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Largest Private Collection of NYS Fossils donated to SRAC

A few months ago we had Paul Krohn, former curator of the Museum of the Earth come to SRAC and ask us to come to his home and see his lifetime work - which happens to be the largest and most significant private collection of NYS fossils. Ted Keir, Don Hunt and Tom Vallilee took the ride with me and we were amazed at what we saw - a house FILLED with fossil exhibits and research materials. Thousands of incredible pieces, carefully collected, cleaned and stored in display cases and huge flat drawer cabinets.

We all hit it off immediately of course, and before it was over - Paul let us know that he invited us up so that we could discuss the possibility of him donating his collection to us.

Since then, a deed of gift has been signed and we are in the middle of receiving the collection by the truckloads and developing a space for Paul to have alongside our artifact collections team in our cellar to be able to process and work with his fossils. The collection is literally so large that a new arm of SRAC will be created for fossils and paleontology and we will develop another collections team dedicated to it to include Paul, Ted Keir and hopefully a couple other specialists in the Valley as well.

The next phase is seeking community support and funding for exhibiting the collection, and Paul is drawing up some plans he has for an ancient ocean bed with layers of time explained by his collection. (We are also looking at doubling the capacity in the artifact area as well....)

As you can see this is a very significant event for SRAC and for the community and I look forward to the future of SRAC. If you are able - please consider volunteering a few hours a month or donating to our giving campaign. We are ALL volunteers working hard to keep this unique museum (there is no other in the northeast like it!) alive while being the place where people like Paul and other collectors can count on us to help them preserve their collections for generations to come.

Here is just a little taste of the Paul Krohn/SRAC collection.

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