Mineral Collection


The mineral collection was started in the early 19th Century when the University bought the personal collection of Edward Daniel Clarke (1769 – 1822), its first Professor of Mineralogy. Since then it has grown, mainly by purchase, but also by donation.  About half of the 40,000-55,000 specimens of the present collection came in four collections; Sir Abraham Hume (1749-1838), Joseph Carne (1782 - 1858), Rev. Thomas Wiltshire (1826-1902) and Henry Brooke (1771-1857). Brooke's collection is still kept together, as laid down by the terms of the donation, in its 19th Century cabinet.

The mineral collection was held in the Department of Mineralogy until 1930 when it moved to a new Department of Mineralogy and Petrology. In the 1990s it formally became part of the Sedgwick Museum, after the departments were merged into the Department of Earth Sciences.

The collection contains minerals from across the lobe and over 400 meteorite specimens. Special strengths of the collection are Cornish and Cumbrian minerals, with many fine specimens from the classic localities of the 19th century, along with minerals from the Binntal of Switzerland.

 

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

Saturday
10:00 to 16:00 

Sunday
Closed



Reuniting our important rock collections under one roof

Much of the Sedgwick Museum’s working geological collections, central to the research of many in the department and wider community, are currently housed in cramped and difficult conditions in the Atlas Building on the West Cambridge site. This building, at one time used by Shorts for the refurbishment of aircraft bombers, is a rather dilapidated former commercial unit fast approaching the end of its useful life. The newly proposed Geological Collections Store will adjoin the A.G. Brighton Building (the Sedgwick Museum’s conservation unit) and vastly improve accessibility.



Mary Caroline McKenny Hughes (1860-1916) – promoter of geology for women in the University