Stories from the Lithotheque (01)

Dorothea (Dorle) Kulicke

Our lithotheque is a project, which in its impor­tance mean­while reach­es far beyond the Micro­mounter Work­ing Group. That’s why we don’t file this arti­cle under the Micro­mounter Work­ing Group, but open a new sec­tion with it, in which we will report reg­u­lar­ly about our Lithothek in the future.

When we start­ed work­ing on this col­lec­tion in 2001, we could not have imag­ined what a suc­cess this project would become. Even our board of direc­tors was skep­ti­cal and had con­cerns: “Our micro­moun­ters want to try to square the cir­cle”, Mr. Gößwein, at that time 2nd chair­man of the asso­ci­a­tion, informed the mem­bers dur­ing an asso­ci­a­tion evening. These con­cerns were not unjus­ti­fied. Many ques­tions were asked at that time, which we could not answer. But we did not have to, because they were not rel­e­vant at that time. In the mean­time, some of the prob­lems men­tioned at that time have become con­crete. And we have always found an ade­quate solution.

With­out tak­ing these con­cerns into account, we sim­ply start­ed work­ing. One of our prin­ci­ples was that every­one can par­tic­i­pate, but no one has to. Anoth­er was the con­vic­tion that visions that seem unre­al­iz­able today may become real­i­ty tomor­row and a mat­ter of course the day after. These prin­ci­ples have accom­pa­nied us for 20 years. And they still apply today.

With this and the fol­low­ing short arti­cles we want to inform you in an enter­tain­ing way about what Lithothek is, what is new and where it is head­ing. Maybe there are some of you who would like to join us. In any case, we would be hap­py to receive your feed­back, which you can send to us at any time at We are hap­py about pos­i­tive reac­tions, but we are also open for crit­i­cism and sug­ges­tions of any kind.


The Lithothek pur­sues very dif­fer­ent goals. A first very impor­tant goal was and still is to keep alive, through its col­lec­tions, the mem­o­ry of friends who are no longer with us. With this in mind, we would like to ded­i­cate this first install­ment of our series to Dorothea Kulicke (Dor­le).

Dor­le may still be known to some of you. She was a mem­ber of the club for many years, and before Ger­hard Voges she head­ed the Seniors and Begin­ners work­ing group, where she appar­ent­ly ran a tight ship. Sto­ries are known about her ensur­ing order and dis­ci­pline in the group entrust­ed to her on excur­sions with the help of her whis­tle. But she was also very gen­er­ous. Who else would have man­aged to invite the entire MM group (which was, how­ev­er, very small at that time) to col­lec­tive excur­sions at her expense.

I met her in ear­ly 1995 as a mem­ber of the micro­mounter group. I was new to the Min­er­al Friends at the time and had great dif­fi­cul­ty get­ting start­ed. The group was very small, met once a month, dis­cussed with­out pre-deter­mined top­ics, trad­ed min­er­als, arranged to go on field trips togeth­er, and then went to din­ner togeth­er. A new­com­er was bare­ly acknowl­edged. I was on the verge of drop­ping out again. It was Dor­le who real­ized this and pre­vent­ed it. She invit­ed me to her home where we looked at and dis­cussed min­er­als from her col­lec­tion. Thus, as an absolute begin­ner, I got to know the Clara mine for the first time, the min­er­als from the Eifel, from Waid­haus, from the Kaiser­stuhl, but also from the Tici­no and from Laurion.

Soon a close friend­ship devel­oped from these begin­nings also between her and my wife Regine. On a fixed day every week I picked up Dor­le and we worked togeth­er on min­er­als at our home. She was not at all pleased at first that I rent­ed an apart­ment of my own in Heim­stet­ten to work on our hob­by there and thus ban­ish the dust inevitably cre­at­ed by for­mat­ting raw mate­r­i­al from our apart­ment. She feared (wrong­ly) that this might be detri­men­tal to the con­tact between Regine and herself.

When we start­ed work on the Lithothek in 2001, Dor­le was one of the first to bring in her col­lec­tion. She had no fam­i­ly that could have been inter­est­ed in her micro­mounts lat­er on. In this respect it was obvi­ous for her to secure the exis­tence of her small trea­sures beyond the time of her life. Togeth­er we went through piece by piece of her col­lec­tion and decid­ed what should go into the col­lec­tion and what we want­ed to release for sale lat­er on.

Today, there are over 1,300 pieces from her for­mer col­lec­tion in the Lithothek. Since she always placed spe­cial empha­sis on aes­thet­ics, many of these col­lec­tion items have already been pho­tographed and pub­lished in the Min­er­al Atlas, where they can be viewed by any­one. We rate the qual­i­ty of our col­lec­tion objects with stars and are very crit­i­cal. After all, more than 270 micro­mounts from Dor­le’s for­mer col­lec­tion have received the max­i­mum pos­si­ble num­ber of five stars.

Dor­le died on Novem­ber 2, 2003, in the evening of the last day of the fair. She real­ly want­ed to expe­ri­ence this fair again, but did not have the strength for a per­son­al vis­it. So she had to be con­tent with study­ing this year’s fair cat­a­log as the last read­ing of her life. If you want to know more about our friend Dor­le and her pas­sion for min­er­als, you can find a detailed col­lec­tor’s pro­file of Dor­le and a total of 580 pho­tos with spec­i­mens from her for­mer col­lec­tion at with the search term “Kulicke”.

Clara Mine
Clara Mine