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).

Download an English language eBook of Scilla's book here

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

Saturday
10:00 to 16:00 

Sunday
Closed



Dr Elizabeth Harper has been appointed Acting Director of the Sedgwick Museum following the retirement of Dr Ken McNamara.



Celebrating 100 years since John Edward Marr (1857-1933) became the 9th Woodwardian Professor, Monday 30th October: Visit our online Archive gallery