EXPERIMENTAL RUN PRODUCT ARCHIVE, PRODUCED USING THE EGEMS GEOLOGICAL DATABASE, PROMOTES LONG-TERM PRESERVATION AND ACCESSIBILITY FOR BOTH SPECIMENS AND THEIR ASSOCIATED DATA
The EGEMS database was designed with fields specific to the cataloging of experimental materials, both charges and starting materials. More than one hundred experimental charges held at the Virginia Museum of Natural History have been archived and cataloged into the EGEMS system. Cataloged records include the starting composition, the experimental conditions and apparatus, and links to related publications. If the rock or mineral, that is the source of the starting material, is held in the VMNH collection, the experiment and sample are linked in the database. Archiving and documenting experimental materials provides huge value for the relatively small investment in cataloging time and space, and is important for both museums and universities. Given that a system for developing an experimental materials archive now exists, we can look forward to a time when no experiment will have to be repeated simply because the original material has been lost.