Earth Collections

A trilobite fossil

A trilobite fossil

The Earth Collections comprise large collections of fossils, minerals and rocks. Of the 375,000 fossil specimens, over 1,400 are types. There are many historic specimens including those of Edward Lhwyd, William Buckland, John Phillips, and Charles Lyell. Of particular significance are:

Collections staff maintain an active acquisition policy. Recent additions have included invertebrate specimens from the Cretaceous of South Africa and France; a unique soft-bodied fauna from the Silurian of the Welsh Borderland; arthropod material from the Cambro-Silurian of the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, North America and China; an essentially complete skeleton of the marine reptile Peloneustes from the Jurassic of Oxfordshire; and Jurassic specimens from the M40 motorway excavations.

There are over 30,000 mineral specimens from localities worldwide, as well as collections of gemstones, meteorites, and mineralogical instruments. Since 1998, Mineral Collections staff have taken charge of the University's petrological collections comprising around 50,000 specimens.

Native sulphur from Sicily

Native sulphur from Sicily

Enquiries regarding the collections should be sent to:

Further information about fossils and geology can be found in Learning more
Further information about minerals and rocks can be found in Learning more

Children can discover the world of fossils in the Learning zone
Children can discover the world of minerals and rocks in the Learning zone


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