The German Natural Stone Archive
The German Natural Stone Archive (Deutsches Naturstein-Archiv – DNSA) is located at the state-run Technical College for Stonemasonry (Fachschule für Steinbearbeitung) in Wunsiedel. It collects and archives samples of natural stones used and traded worldwide (sample size: 24 x 15 x 2 cm). The collection contains more than 1 300 samples from Germany alone, along with 530 from Italy, around 230 from Austria and 100 or more from each of the most important European and non-European countries. All available geological, geographical, petrographic, technological, cultural and commercial data are digitally stored.
Broad range of services
The original purpose of the collection was to teach students. Today, the DNSA also advises builders, architects, public authorities and stone working plants in the selection of stone materials. For research in architectural history and for stone restoration, samples of historic building stones are identified and, as required, suitable substitute materials recommended. Newly imported commercial types of stones are frequently offered with misleading descriptions. The DSNA clarifies the composition, technical properties, possible applications and risks. The DNSA also evaluates the market chances for newly introduced materials. In many legal disputes and processes, the Natural Stone Archive is able to reach a neutral decision in the matter of whether the stone ordered has actually been supplied.
The DNSA is financially supported by the Berufsbildungswerk des Steinmetz und Bildhauerhandwerks e.V. (training fund of the Stonemasons’ and Sculptors’ Craft). Seminars are offered for different target groups, e. g. in the areas of planning, processing, applications and commercial trade. The archive maintains contacts with professional associations, teaching institutions, museums, domestic and foreign university geo-science departments, institutes as well as with natural stone companies in Germany and worldwide. In addition to the collection of natural stones the visitor will find a well structured collection for instructional purposes, with mostly polished handsized pieces (9 x 12 cm) in 80 glass cabinets illuminated from within. There are also a small paleontological collection and a mineralogical collection with 1500 mineral stages from all around the world. The DNSA is not a public museum. In order to gain entry, a request or an advance application is required.
The DNSA is always looking out for new materials. Samples from quarry operations or stone processing plants and trade companies etc. are always welcome.