Study of written sources in archives sometimes allows to restore the history of collections. A good example is the Alexander the First collection. In 1819, de la Harpe had sent an Etruscan vase to Alexander I as a gift, and had received a collection of Russian minerals in return. Alexander's collection, totaling 1031 samplesaccording to the catalogue of 1874, consists of five sections: salts, stones, metals, combustible minerals, and rocks. The collection of Russian minerals presented by Alexander the First in 1820 to La Harpe is completely preserved to the present day and is exhibited at the Lausanne Natural History Museum.

Scripta Geologica. Special Issue

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Naturalis journals & series

Minina, E. L. (2004). [Proceedings of the VII international symposium 'Cultural heritage in geosciences, mining and metallurgy : libraries, archives, museums' : "Museums and their collections" held at the Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Leiden (The Netherlands), 19-23 May, 2003 / Cor F. Winkler Prins and Stephen K. Donovan (editors)]: The Alexander the First collection of the Lausanne Museum. Scripta Geologica. Special Issue, 4(24), 223–228.