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

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.