After the considerable destruction and loss of most of its collections, the AGS Museum is now becoming the showpiece of the AGS. A team of dedicated and very knowledgeable museum staff led by Mr Gul pacha Azizi have already brought some order to the remaining displays, despite extremely limited resources. The museum has great potential; however, much work remains to be undertaken.
Along with the rest of the AGS building, the museum is in need of repair and restoration. This would be followed by redesign of the public exhibition area. New and more secure display cases, facilities for more interpretative-type displays, posters etc. will be required along with supporting facilities including specimen preparation areas for palaeontology, mineralogy/petrology, a digital photographic studio, a general office and the restoration of the lecture hall.
Most of the collections were lost during the twenty years of fighting. All that remain are the existing specimens on display and a small number in a store in the main building. The collections need to be built up with indigenous Afghan and foreign generic samples and specimens. The former can only be achieved by AGS collecting trips or as the result of fieldwork. Significantly, the collections could be enhanced by donations/loans from other collections worldwide.
In line with collection development, the museum is preparing to introduce modern methods of recording the collections, new accessions, loans and condition surveys. As a first step, work has already started on capturing the handwritten register in a basic Excel file; this will be accompanied by a digital photographic record of the collection.
In the longer term, fostering an interest in earth sciences with the general public is seen as a priority. This will be accomplished by means of organized visits for schools, colleges and the public and a strong educational presence on the AGS website.
Virtual museums are one of the great museum success areas. Most museums now have a digital presence on the web and from the world's greatest museums to the smallest specialist volunteer-run museum, all are equally capable of reaching a wider international audience through a virtual museum. The AGS Museum has already started the development of its own virtual museum. A small photographic studio is being set up and members of staff are being trained in imaging. The initial results of this project can be seen in the image galleries in this website.