The Geosciences Collection is providing the base for different research projects on the field of geosciences. Fossils are used to reconstruct ancient animal and plant species and even to bring life into fossil ecosystems for example. Furthermore, palaeontology (“fossil research”) can provide the evidence for fluctuations of ancient climate and movements of continental plates – even after millions of years. In the field of mineralogy crystals are used for applied research on the development of new optical techniques. The analysis of mineral resources is based on the investigation of the origin of ores and the chemistry of their crystals and are also housed in the Geosciences Collection.
The Research Groups of the Faculty of Geosciences of the University of Bremen and the Geosciences Collection are closely co-operating in research projects like those mentioned.
The Geosciences Collection is a research collection, work in the collection- and research are a unit and can not be regarded separately. This means, that the activities in the collection incorporates two principal aims:
- Preservation of primary data (reference material)
- Scientific research on the material of the collection
Preservation of primary data
It needs to be certain that new reference material, namely primary data of scientific work, is housed safely and permanently for future times. In 1998 the German Research Foundation (DFG) made proposals to keep a high standard in scientific work in their commission “Self-control in Sciences”. This includes the housing of primary data that is summarised in proposal 7. This proposal is also true for the material collected by scientists of the Faculty of Geosciences of the University of Bremen housed in the Geosciences Collection.
There has to be scientific work on the housed material, including fossils, bivalves and gastropods, as well as rocks and minerals and these results have to be published for the scientific community. Furthermore, the Geosciences Collection offers the possibility for people from external institutions to work with the comprehensive material, including the historically valuable type collection. The high number of loans is documenting the intensive interest in our collection.
Geoscientific research collections are providing a service for the whole country, respectively the whole world and are the fundamentals for a qualified research. In Germany these aims of scientific research collections in general have been described by the “Paper of the cultural committee of the conference of the ministers of education and cultural affairs on the 7th of November 1996” and furthermore by the “Opinion of the Science council for research in museums”. Internationally, the aims of scientific collections are fixed out by the “United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity” in Rio of the 5th of July 1992 and in the “Agenda Systematics 2000”. One year later this has been accepted by enacting a federal law by the state of Germany on the 30th of August 1993. Comprising “Guidelines for the Care of Natural History Collections” have been published by the “Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections” in 1994 (based on the information of the community of German-speaking curators in science). To summarise, it follows that the Geosciences Collection is an archive for basic data in research on an international level.