EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Preserving High Value Legacy Collections for Future Research – The McNaughton Collection

Eleanore Blereau1,2, Amanda Bellenger3, and Brent McInnes1
Eleanore Blereau et al.
  • 1Curtin University, John de Laeter Centre, Perth, Western Australia, Australia (
  • 2Geological Survey of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • 3John Curtin Library, Perth, Western Australia

During his long career in ionprobe geochemistry, Professor Neal McNaughton built up an impressive collection of samples. Professor McNaughton served as SHRIMP geochronologist for the Centre of Global Metallogeny at the University of Western Australia (1994-2005), the Western Australia Centre for Exploration Targeting (2005-2007), and the John de Laeter Centre (JdLC) at Curtin University (2007-2019), and upon his retirement he donated his collection of epoxy mounted samples to the GSWA. This collection of over 1000 mounts containing over 4000 samples is full of irreplaceable samples, representing over 20 years of geochronological research and development on the SHRIMP II in the JdLC. The collection is a highly valuable resource for future geochemical and geochronological research however, the entire collection lacked a digital footprint. When this project started there was a distinct lack of a unified approach for geoscience metadata or a template for preserving such a collection. In a jointly funded effort by AuScope, GSWA and Curtin University a digital sample catalogue of the collection with digitised materials was successfully created. We operated under the FAIR data principals and utilised International Geo Sample Numbers (IGSNs) as persistent identifiers to create the most impactful, accessible and visible product. The final catalogue, associated metadata and digital materials are now publicly available online on a number of digital platforms such as Research Data Australia and GSWA’s GeoVIEW.WA and the mounts are able to be borrowed from GSWA for future analysis. These efforts allowed the preservation of physical materials for future loans and analysis as well as visibility in our digital age. We will outline the template and workflow utilised by this project that can be used to preserve similarly high value collections and by current facilities, universities and researchers in their ongoing research, as well as insights for future efforts.

How to cite: Blereau, E., Bellenger, A., and McInnes, B.: Preserving High Value Legacy Collections for Future Research – The McNaughton Collection, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14458,, 2021.


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