Karl Lalonde Mineral Collection at DCL


Karl Lalonde Mineral Collection at DCL

Dorrie (Dorothea) and Gerald Lalonde have generously donated a collection of minerals to be displayed at the library. The rocks and minerals were collected by their son, geologist Karl Lalonde, and will be on view in the new fiction section of the library. Various items in the collection will be rotated for display as there are too many to show at one time.

The Lalondes have resided in Grinnell since 1969. Dorrie was a long-time library archivist at Drake Community Library, and Gerald is Professor Emeritus of Classics at Grinnell College. The mineral collection donated is part of a much larger collection amassed by Karl throughout his life and career. After graduating from Grinnell High School in 1975, Karl went on to earn B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees respectively in geology, computer science, and atmospheric sciences from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Upon Karl’s death in May of 2020, the Lalondes decided to donate a portion of the collection to the library for the community to enjoy.

Karl began collecting minerals when he was about 8 years of age. His first kit was purchased from the Geology Department at the University of Washington, where the family was living. Dorrie recounts, “From that time on, he made a point of visiting mineral shops when we traveled, and our attic was so full of boxes of rocks that I wondered if the floor would be able to hold up under the weight.”

Tom Loomis, a long-time friend of Karl Lalonde from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, took on the task of going through the large collection to select the minerals to be sent to the library for display. A few of the minerals in the collection are from the quarry north of Le Grand, Iowa. Karl typically stopped there when visiting Grinnell, and Dorrie wished them to be part of the donated collection.

Attached: Photo of Karl Lalonde & photo of the display case


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