The purpose of the QLM Collection is to curate soil and sediment samples, continuous cores, and non-faunal organic materials that document the past 2 million years of New York State history (the Quaternary Period). Several of the scientific staff of the NYSM have overlapping specialties in the field of Quaternary studies. These interdisciplinary studies in geology, archeology and biology are associated with landscapes. Previously many of these types of materials have been collected and temporarily stored at NYSM, but not archived. Primarily, the collection materials will consist of samples of unconsolidated soils and sediments, organic materials (plants, pollen, shells), cave sediments, and other samples that relate to the reconstruction of Quaternary landscapes.
Principally this collection will grow with the addition of cores, unique important glacial soils and recovered paleobotanical remains from stratigraphic investigations. We live in a dynamic environment that is constantly adjusting; exposures of glacial stratigraphy today may be buried by slope failures, washed away by floods or built over by new developments in the future. This collection helps insure that important samples--perhaps containing information about past environments and climates--are documented and preserved for future researchers to analyze and study.