Cambridge Curiosities

We like collecting here at the Sedgwick; we’ve been doing it since 1728 when John Woodward left his collection to the University. The museum now holds over 1.5 million objects - from fossils, rocks and minerals to notebooks, letters, photographs and diaries. Our collections not only have scientific value but also contain the hidden histories of their collectors - their travels, areas of study, the progression of their careers, and the relationships they had with their families, friends, mentors, peers and students.
Curating cambridge logo
As part of Curating Cambridge 2014 we launched a community cabinet, where we invite members of the local community to curate their own display of geological objects. Working with the museum staff, the displays will aim to showcase the collections held by visitors in the local area and help reveal both the science and the personal stories behind them.

2018 Display - Current display by local young geologist Alex Mattin
2016 Display - With thanks to Sandra Freshney
2014 Display - With thanks to the Friends of the Sedgwick Museum

We're curious... what do you collect?
If you have a geological collection of your own and you would like to see it displayed in the museum, email museumeducation@esc.cam.ac.uk with a photo and tell us:.

What is in your collection?
How you got started?
How many objects you have?
What is the most curious thing in it?

Monday to Friday
10:00 to 13:00 & 14:00 to 17:00

Saturday
10:00 to 16:00 

Sunday
Closed



How do you get thirty-six 8-11yr olds excited about science in museums? Give them a ‘crime scene’ and skills to solve the crime.



Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition to the North-West Passage has often been in the news ever since he left England on the 19th May, 1845 never to return. Successive searches throughout the 19th century eventually found artefacts and human remains. But it was not until 2014 the wreck of Franklin’s ship, HMS Erebus was found and two years later the wreck of HMS Terror. Now the extraordinary story of HMS Erebus is receiving new publicity thanks to the publication of Michael Palin’s new book – ‘Erebus : the story of a ship’. Whilst the earliest searches did not find any traces of Franklin and his crew, one of them, led by Captain Kellett did find a superb mammoth tusk, which is now part of the Sedgwick Museum’s Ice Age display.