My new book Making it Mine – Sir Arthur Russell and his Mineral Collection was formally launched at the Oxford Mineral Show on 8 May 2022 and many collectors took the opportunity to pick up their copy in person and to have it signed.
The rear cover gives a brief overview of the content of the book and the background to the project, together with a photo of the Natural History Museum, London, looking fantastic in the early morning sunshine.
We were fortunate to have a lovely sunny spring day for the Oxford Show and turnout was excellent. Here I am ready to welcome collectors when the doors opened at 10:00 am.
Prominent amongst the early visitors was none other than Mindat founder, Jolyon Ralph, seen here clutching his copy with son Roman.
Robin Hansen and Mike Rumsey of the Natural History Museum, London, were also on hand to join in the fun so we thought we should have a team photo to record the occasion!
The Oxford Show on 8 May was the only occasion (EVER!) when it was possible to purchase a copy of each of my three books – Crystal Mountains – Minerals of the Cairngorms; Minerals of the English Midlands; and Making it Mine – Sir Arthur Russell and his Mineral Collection.
My first book, Crystal Mountains – Minerals of the Cairngorms is now out of print – the final copy being purchased at the Show by Claire Connolly, seen here proudly holding her copy!
As anyone who has trodden the weary road of self-publishing a book will know, marketing and distributing the book is much harder than writing it and any help you can give with publicity, promoting the book to friends and colleagues, or on social media if you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. will be greatly appreciated. Our house has been like a FedEx distribution hub for the past couple of months and copies have already been despatched to Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA, and all parts of the UK.
For those of you who may not have had a chance to see a copy yet I’ll insert a simple list of the contents to give you a quick idea of the scope of the book:
1. Introduction p.7
2. The Russells of Swallowfield p.9
3. Swallowfield Park p.25
4. Sir Arthur Russell p.37
5. Goniometry and crystal drawing p.63
6. The Mineralogical Society p.68
7. Consultancy and advisory work p.79
8. New Consols Mine p.87
9. Building the collection p.98
10. Field collecting p.110
11. Old collections p.118
12. Mineral dealing p.203
13. Colleagues and contacts p.208
14. The bequest p.228
15. The collection p.233
16. Specimen gallery p.245
17. Featured localities p.290
18. Unpublished work p.365
19. The Russell Archive p.374
20. An enduring legacy p.379
21. Epilogue p.383
Appendix 1 – Russell family tree p.402
Appendix 2 – Mineralogical and other visitors to Swallowfield p.404
Appendix 3 – Russell Collection specimens figured in other publications p.406
Appendix 4 – Summary timeline of Sir Arthur Russell p.408
Making it Mine has 432 large format pages (276 × 218 mm); 754 illustrations; 1100 references and a comprehensive index. Hardback £40 plus p&p. (ISBN 978-0-9930182-4-4). For further information, or to order a copy, go to https://britishmineralogy.com/wordpress/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. British Mineralogy Publications, 15 Warwick Avenue, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. B60 2AH.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the project in so many ways, answering questions, providing images, helping with archival enquiries and of course purchasing a copy of the book – I hope that you will all be pleased with the final product.