Circular 111Computerization of the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineralogical Museum
By J. Renault, R. A. Bonem, and R. Riese, 1970, 49 pp., 11 figs., 4 appendices.
The museum catalog listing more than 7,000 specimens has been computerized for rapid retrieval of specimens having any desired combination of characteristics. The computer is an IBM 360/44; programs are written in FORTRAN IV. The computer has a 32 K core storage. The specimen data are punched on IBM cards and ultimately copied onto disc. The system can accommodate 160 bytes of information per specimen on a two-card format and unlimited information in an "extra-data" format. Appendices include program descriptions, card formats, flow charts, and program listings.
In a broad sense, a mineralogical museum is a kind of library that serves both as a medium for display of interesting objects and as a repository for reference material. It is in this latter role that it is most useful in scientific investigations. A major problem in the use of a museum as a reference tool is the retrieval of specimens that possess certain combinations of characteristics. Such retrieval requires complex cross-indexing or sorting and can be time consuming. For these reasons, a series of computer programs called the NMBMMR Mineralogical Museum System has been developed. This report describes the system and its use. To the author's knowledge, the only mineralogical collection which has been computerized to date is that of the Smithsonian Institution.
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