Sample Recording

Even before you start collecting it’s important to give some thought to how you are going to manage the many hundreds, if not thousands of samples you may eventually collect, often in a very short period of time. While some collectors may feel otherwise, I feel personally that a sand collection is meaningless without¬†accurate factual information about each individual sample – where and when it was found and so on.

In my own collection recording these details starts in the field at the very time the sample is collected. Each sample has the location name, date and sample category, e.g. beach, river bank, glacial exposure, landslide, etc, written on the sampling bag – these have a white “write-on” panel for this purpose. Other collectors record much more detail, sometimes into a log book, but the above are all I need. It’s easy to collect duplicate samples, so I lay out each batch from the same location and discard any duplicate samples before labelling, storage and display.

What information you record about a sample is down to the individual but there are a few basic details that should always be recorded. These are:

  • the date the sample was collected
  • where the sample was collected

Even if you record nothing else at least try and record these few items. It should not take you very long. Other things you might want to record are:

  • continent and country
  • county, region or state
  • nearest town or village
  • map grid reference number
  • description of exact location
  • location type: e.g. beach, quarry. etc

All the above does take a little time and if you get into the habit at the very start of your collecting, you will reap dividends in the future, being able to refer to every sample collected.

Copyright ©2020 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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