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:
- Lower Palaeozoic shelly faunas
- Yorkshire Carboniferous
- Jurassic vertebrates and invertebrates
- Cretaceous invertebrates
- Tertiary mollusc collections
- Pleistocene and Holocene vertebrates
- The 'Red Lady of Paviland'
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
- Exceptionally fine minerals presented by Dr Richard Simmons
- The decorative stone collection of Faustino Corsi acquired in 1827
- Historical collections of William Buckland and his wife Mary Morland, John MacCulloch and Charles Daubeny
- Systematic mineral collections of chemists Sir Henry Enfield Roscoe and Dr Hugo Muller
- Specimens formerly belonging to John Ruskin and the 2nd Duke of Buckingham in the mineral collection of publisher George Allen
- The petrology collections of Lawrence Wager and Keith Cox
- British minerals collected in the 1970s and 1980s by Morrison Thomas
Enquiries regarding the collections should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org