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Abstract

The core meteorite collection of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), New York, including the massive Cape York and Willamette irons, dates from the three decades ending in 1905. Acquisition of new meteorites was steady into the 1970s, and accelerated in the latter 20th century. Institutional and philanthropic support, coupled with the focus, energy and vision of a succession of curators, have been central to building the collection, exhibiting meteorites, educating the public and participating at the cutting edge of meteoritical science. Efforts to describe and classify, characteristic of the pre-war period, evolved into detailed chemical investigations. Recent science seeks to find underlying processes unifying disparate meteorite groups in a coherent story of the early solar system and planet formation.

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