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UW Geology Museum receives more than $100,000 in minerals

March 19, 2008

In its 160-year existence, the UW–Madison Geology Museum has never before received a mineral donation like the one recently given by retired UW–Madison electrical engineering Professor R.A. Greiner.

With 684 specimens and an appraised value in excess of $115,000, the R.A. Greiner Mineral Collection is the most impressive set of minerals the museum has ever received. On Tuesday, March 25, from 7-9 p.m., the UW Geology Museum will host a reception to honor Greiner and to unveil a new exhibit with dozens of minerals from his donated collection.

While he began accumulating minerals at age ten, Greiner started collecting in earnest after retiring from UW–Madison 15 years ago. However, some specimens even date back to the 1920s and were collected by Greiner’s parents during their honeymoon.

This impressive collection reflects Greiner’s fondness for bright, colorful, crystalline minerals, as well as specimens that have minerals of different shapes and colors that grew side by side. Greiner often commented about the marvelous complexity of form that nature creates.

Each year, 40,000 people visit the UW Geology Museum, with 14,000 school children receiving guided tours. Greiner loved looking over and studying the minerals in his collection, and thanks to his generosity, thousands of others will appreciate their beauty as well.

Established in 1848, the UW Geology Museum is located on the UW–Madison campus in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, 1215 W. Dayton Street. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is free. For more information or to arrange a tour, call (608) 262-1412.