The emphasis of the 27,000-specimen Minerals collection is directed largely toward exhibition and education. Approximately one third of all known mineral species are represented and a number of the specimens are considered among the finest examples in existence. Acquisitions include an outstanding suite of minerals from the former Soviet Union and a historically important suite of Pennsylvania minerals formerly owned by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The section houses a nice gem collection of about 2,300 pieces and a modest collection of meteorites.
Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems has gained an international reputation as one of the finest and most important mineral exhibitions in the country. Many specimens from the collection of William W. Jefferis, a nineteenth century mineral collector from West Chester, Pennsylvania, are on exhibit throughout the hall. See how his collection, and those of other private collectors and mineral dealers, impacted our exhibitions in the History of Hillman Hall.
More than 90 percent of the collection data has been computerized and is available for viewing online, and acquisition and specimen conservation programs are very active. Visit the Collections Online to search the database.
Selected specimens from the collection are viewable in 360-degree format.
Museum Library (Minerals)
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History Library is dispersed across a main library unit and individual section libraries. Please visit the Museum Library site for information on accessing titles.