Genealogist/historian volunteer needed on UCD Mineral Collection project

The minerals that comprise UCD’s large and historic mineral collection, now being curated by the National Museum of Ireland (NMI), often have associated labels that contain the names of the people who collected, donated or sold the minerals.  Who these people are remains a mystery.  The UCD Mineral Collection project —run by Dr. Patrick Roycroft, part funded by the Heritage Council and supported by the NMI—needs to find out more about the people behind the mineral specimens. To this end, a volunteer is required to work part-time during mid-2015 not only on internet-based genealogy sites (e.g., and others) but also to search various archives (including those of UCD itself) to track down the people on the specimen labels and so find out why/how they were collecting minerals, what became of them, and do they have living descendants who might like to know that their ancestor/relative has material in a national collection, and so on. Dr. Roycroft will coordinate the project:  he is a fully qualified geologist and has also been involved in genealogical research.


The project is based at the National Museum of Ireland’s stores in Beggars Bush (Dublin 4), directly opposite the National Print Museum. The volunteer should be able to work independently and report to Patrick on a regular basis. There will be flexibility regarding time of work. The interested candidate can start immediately or whenever she/he is ready; all work needs to be completed by mid October; the results will be publicly disseminated as per Heritage Council remit, but this does not preclude the volunteer from writing stand-alone articles if the uncovered information warrants it. Indeed, publication will be encouraged.

The research should prove fascinating and a suitable test of genealogical skills. If interested, please contact Patrick via e-mail at  and use the subject heading of ‘Genealogist volunteer’.   A copy of the volunteer’s CV (including  contact details and at least two references) should be submitted to Nigel Monaghan (Keeper of Natural History at the NMI) as part of museum procedures to allow volunteers access to collections, and this can be done via Patrick’s e-mail.

To see more, visit the ‘UCD Mineral Collection’ Facebook page:

For further information, contact Dr. Paddy Roycroft at  and use the subject heading of ‘Genealogist volunteer’.

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