During the 1911 - 1914  Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE)  led by Sir Douglas Mawson, many biological, mineral and ‘relics’ specimens were collected.

The documentation and scientific research that was undertaken on the collections continued for decades.

Australian Museum mineralogist, Thomas Hodge-Smith was asked to report on a collection of Deep Sea Mud samples.

Later, in 1929, he was asked to put a value on the samples. He responded to this difficult task by weighing up the scientific significance and noting they had little likelihood of being reused.

“In the circumstances I would place a valuation of five pounds (£5) on the collection” he concluded.