• Museum entrance
  • Downing Street view of Museum
  • Museum steps
  • Tower
  • Museum gallery

Travel through time…

The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences is the oldest of the University of Cambridge museums, having been established in 1728 as the Woodwardian Museum. Since then the collection has grown from about 10,000 fossils, minerals and rocks, to at least 2 million. A walk through the museum will take you on a 4.5 billion year journey through time, from the meteoritic building blocks of planets, to the thousands of fossils of animals and plants that illustrate the evolution of life in the oceans, on land and in the air. Also a major teaching and research resource in the Department of Earth Sciences, the Sedgwick Museum collections are a national treasure.


School Bookings Visiting

 
Sedgwick Museum Collections Store

Construction of a new geological collections store at Madingley Rise started this morning, 22nd October 2018. The store will adjoin the A.G. Brighton Building and be known as the Colin Forbes Building. Construction work is expected to continue for 40 weeks. We will then start the immense task of moving over 100,000 specimens of rocks and fossils from the Atlas Building in west Cambridge.

This is a hugely exciting development for the Sedgwick Museum and the Dept of Earth Sciences as it will bring together the hand specimens and corresponding thin sections of rocks under one roof. This includes the Harker, Sedgwick, Dawson and Svalbard collections. The scientific value of the world-renowned collections, which date back to the early 1800s, is immense both to current research and also to the history of science.
We are sincerely grateful to the generous contributions from the Forbes Fund, CASP, the University of Cambridge and personal donations that have made this possible.

Prof Sally A Gibson
Acting Director, Sedgwick Museum

Find out more

Support this project

If you would like to discuss how you might contribute to the Sedgwick Museum Collections Store, please contact Professor Simon Redfern, Head of Department.

To make a donation to the Sedgwick Museum Collections Store please visit our online giving page.

UK tax payers can use Gift Aid to make a donation worth more. For every pound you give, the department get an extra 25 pence from HM Revenue and Customs, at no extra cost to yourself, this is of enormous benefit.


Earth Stories - The latest geological news Collections Up Close
 
DOWTK Family Favourites Awards Finalist 2018

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

Saturday
10:00 to 16:00 

Sunday
Closed

Christmas and New Year 2018/19
The Museum will close at 4pm on Saturday 22nd December 2018 and re-open at 10am on Saturday 5th January 2019


 






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.



The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, the oldest of the University of Cambridge museums, has appointed its first full-time director.



The world’s first life-size dinosaur models, including two gigantic Iguanodon, are in urgent need of conservation. The models were built over 160 years ago for the one of the World’s very first prehistoric theme parks, located at Sydenham, south London.


 

Publications

'Tools of the Trade'
Available to purchase in the Sedgwick Museum shop

Tools of the Trade

Agostino Scilla's
'Vain Speculation Undeceived by Sense'
English translation available to download.
Agostino Scilla download

Friends of the Sedgwick Museum prizewinners give us their thoughts on their time at the Museum in 2016
Click here to read

Work Experience at the Sedgwick - read about our latest student to visit us for two weeks and experience life in a Museum. 

Studying Earth Sciences at Cambridge University


Did you know?
The University of Cambridge is listed at the top of The Complete University's Guide 2016 for geology.

Discover more about studying Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge in this video featuring Museum Curator of Mineralogy and Petrology Professor Marian Holness and Sir David Attenborough