Academy vows to retain mineral collection

June 15, 2007

PHILADELPHIA -- A court filing makes it official: The Academy of Natural Sciences has no intention of giving up its historic William S. Vaux mineral collection.

President and CEO Dr. William Y. Brown, in an affidavit signed today in the Orphans' Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas, makes those intentions crystal clear. According to Brown's testimony, if the proposed sale of the 7,300-piece collection is not approved by the court, the Academy is "prepared to keep and properly care for the collection."

In preparation, the Academy has developed a multi-year plan that addresses the measures taken to ensure the collection is in top condition. Among the actions: "The Academy looks forward to caring for the Vaux Collection and providing access to it along with the earliest minerals collected in the Americas by the Lewis & Clark expedition and others," said Brown. "The vast and seminal collections of the Academy, including these, date from the dawn of science in this hemisphere. We have no higher priority than their stewardship."
In October, the Academy sold 19,000 minerals after Orphans Court Judge Joseph D. O'Keefe agreed they were not part of the Vaux collection. The proceeds were used to support the Academy's Ewell Sale Stewart Library.

The Academy is located at 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and weekends until 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for children ages 3-12, seniors, college students with I.D. and military personnel, and free for children under 3. There is an additional $2 fee for Butterflies.

The Academy of Natural Sciences is Philadelphia's natural history museum and a world leader in biodiversity and environmental research. The mission of the Academy is to create the basis for a healthy and sustainable planet through exploration, research and education.

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

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