Woodwardian Collection

The Sedgwick Museum is founded on the collection of Dr John Woodward (1665-1728) part of which was bequeathed to the University of Cambridge in 1728. The Woodwardian collection comprises almost 10,000 fossils, rocks, minerals, shells, plants and archaeological and ethnographic artefacts.

His collection includes the specimens described by him in his books An Essay toward a Natural History of the Earth and Terrestrial Bodies, Especially Minerals (1695; 2nd ed. 1702; 3rd ed. 1723) and An Attempt towards a Natural History of the Fossils of England (vol.1 1728; vol.2 1729).

Woodward's collection also includes many of the specimens that had belonged to the Renaissance artist and naturalist Agostino Scilla who described and illustrated them in his book on the origin of fossils - La vana speculazione disingannata dal senso (Vain Speculation Undeceived by Sense, 1670).

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

Saturday
10:00 to 16:00 

Sunday
Closed



Visitors can now get up close and personal with one of the Sedgwick Museum’s most spectacular objects, our Tyrannosaurus rex skull cast.




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.