The Museum is responsible for around 1.5 million fossil, rock and mineral specimens from around the world, encompassing more than 500 million years of Earth's history.
Curator: Dr Liz Harper
Collections Manager: Dan Pemberton
Collections Assistant, Palaeontology: Matthew Riley
To learn more about the palaeontology collections, please contact Matthew Riley.
Mineralogy and Petrology Collections
Curator: Professor Michael Carpenter
Collections Manager: Dan Pemberton
The Geological Conservation Unit was founded in 1991 as the conservation unit for collections of the Sedgwick Museum and the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge. The Unit has a fully equipped laboratory where we do conservation work and prepare objects for display.
The specimens on display in the gallery are just a fraction of the entire collection. Most of the Museum's specimens are stored in environmentally controlled rooms at the Conservation Unit.
Into the Field Again: Re-Examining Charles Darwin's 1835 Geological Work on Isla Santiago (James Island) in the Galápagos Archipelago
A dispute over the provenance of some of Charles Darwin’s rock collection, now housed at Cambridge’s Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, led to an expedition to the Galapagos two years ago that in turn has resulted in an entirely new analysis of the geology of the Archipelago. The specimens are part of a collection of some 2500 rocks, minerals and fossils collected by Darwin on his 1831–1836 voyage aboard HMS Beagle.
Tetrapod World - Science research blog
The Sedgwick Museum's Conservator is providing technical advice & help with field work on a new project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. The project is a consortium research project led by the University of Cambridge (Prof. Jennifer Clack) with members from National Museum of Scotland, British Geological Survey, University of Southampton & University of Leicester.
The team members will study newly discovered Tetrapods (vertebrates with four limbs), other vertebrates, invertebrates such as millipedes and scorpions and plant fossils from the Scottish Borders. They will also study the sedimentology & geochemistry of the rocks to help understand the climate & environment of the period when the animals & plants lived.
The fossils fill a gap in the fossil record following a mass extinction at the end of the Devonian. This gap is called Romer's Gap after a famous palaeontologist, Alfred Romer, who noticed that many fossils were absent from the Early Carboniferous, the period immediately after the Devonian mass extinction. The gap covers a period of about 15-20 million years.
Tetrapods during the Devonian were fish like and lived in water. After Romer's Gap Tetrapods become land based. What happened during this crucial period of vertebrate evolution has been based on very few fossils until the new specimens were discovered.
The fossils from the Scottish Borders have been found in rocks that fill this 15-20 million year gap and will help in understanding the evolution of the first fully terrestrial ecosystems.
Virtual Microscope for Earth Sciences
The Sedgwick Museum has been working in conjunction with the Open University on a project using our collections.
This new virtual microscope website is now live and contains many Sedgwick Museum samples Virtual Microscope for Earth Sciences
Collection level descriptions
A to Z Index: List of Donors
Click on a letter below to search for information held on this website.
This directory provides an alphabetical listing of our donor collection level discriptions' (CLDs) Here you can find the collection biography and discription, you may then download the information file (PDF format).