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

Temporarily closed

Monday to Friday

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

Saturday
10:00 to 16:00 

Sunday
Closed



Sedgwick Museum Conservator, Sarah Wallace-Johnson, writes about working from home and using the opportunity to find fascinating things in nature in our own gardens.



Women’s contribution to geological science can be ‘seen and heard’ in the Collections at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, and especially in the Archives.

On Sunday 8th March 2020 it’s International Women’s Day, an opportunity to celebrate women's achievement as well as raising awareness and taking action for equality. The Sedgwick Museum is using this important date in the calendar to talk about its collections from a different narrative, one that is equally valid but not previously visible.