Record group RG137 - Crown Jewels of Iran records

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Crown Jewels of Iran records

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  • Textual record
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CA ON00259 RG137

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  • [196-] (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

15 boxes of textual records and graphic material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Victor Benjamin Meen (July 1, 1910-1971), often referred to as V. B. Meen, was chief mineralogist at the Royal Ontario Museum from 1964 until his passing in 1971. Receiving his post-secondary education at the University of Toronto, Meen earned his B.A. in 1932, M.A. in 1933, and Ph.D. in 1936. His M.A. thesis focused on the plagiocase series of minerals and his doctoral work described the crystallization of vein quartz. In 1937, Meen married Thelma Irene Stables and together they had three daughters. An Assistant Professor and subsequently Professor at the University of Toronto from 1936 until 1959, Meen also conducted research expeditions with the Ontario Department of Mines and the National
Geographic Society, among other organizations. Meen began his work at the Royal Ontario Museum of Mineralogy as a scientific assistant in 1936 and rose to become head of the Earth Sciences Division of the Royal Ontario Museum from 1959 until 1964. One of Meen's most significant projects was his exploration and documentation of what he referred to as Chubb Crater (now officially named Pingualuit Crater), a meteorite crater in the far north of Quebec. After some initial exploration in 1950, Meen returned in 1951 on a joint expedition between the ROM and the National Geographic Society. Meen documented the geological makeup of the crater and confirmed that it was indeed a meteorite crater and not an extinct volcano or other structure. Meen was the author of numerous articles and four books about geology, mineralogy and gemmology. His most well-known publication is Crown Jewels of Iran, co-written with A. D. Tushingham and published by University of Toronto Press in 1968. Meen and his wife presented limited edition copies of the book to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Empress Farah Pahlavi in December of that year. Translations were published in several countries, including a Farsi translation published in Iran.

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Scope and content

Series consists of the research files of V.B. Meen and A.D. Tushingham, created during their examination of the crown jewels of Iran, and subsequent publication of their book Crown Jewels of Iran. Records include research material, photographs, draft copies of the book, and correspondence.

Also present are gem cards that include information such as object name and type of gem, colour, size, cut, and remarks. Some also include a small black and white photograph of the item.

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Associated materials

The book Crown Jewels of Iran is available in the rare books section of the ROM Library, call number NK7415 .I55 M4 1968.

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4/11/2023 E. Thomas (Creation)

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