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



This summer, young visitors to some of our UCM museums have the opportunity to participate in an exciting artist-led treasure hunt. Hidden Tales: the Riddle of the White Sphinx, created by Mark Wells and Sorrel May, and illustrated by Jennifer Bell encourages families to explore our museums in a different way... Author Mark Wells tells all here.



Fifty years ago, Cambridge mineralogist, Dr Stuart Agrell was given VIP treatment and a police escort after flying into Heathrow from the USA because he was carrying a bag full of very precious rock material. The samples were amongst the most expensive ever collected as they had been retrieved from the moon by two of the American Apollo 11 mission astronauts. The programme of their investigation was a remarkable and unprecedented example of international scientific collaboration, which still continues.

Stuart Agrell on the underground with a carpet bag of rocks from the Apollo 11 missionGuess what I’ve got in my bag? 50 years ago, Cambridge mineralogist, Stuart Agrell nonchalantly carried some of the most valuable rocks ever collected back to Cambridge in his holdall. (© Mirrorpix, reproduced with permission)