Minerals staff are currently in the process of re-cataloging the entire mineral collection which consists of approximately 30,000 specimens. A large portion of these specimens date back to the 19th century which mandates that the species name and locality information be updated in the collection database to include the modern nomenclature and ever-changing geographic names.

With the acquisition of approximately 5,000 Pennsylvania specimens in 2007 that were formerly part of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia’s collection, research into the history and importance of minerals and mineral localities in Pennsylvania was initiated. These additional specimens, combined with the nearly 3,000 already in the collection and the over 2,700 specimens acquired in 2014 from the Bryon Brookmyer collection, make the Mineral Section's collection an important repository of Pennsylvania’s mineral heritage and the most comprehensive Pennsylvania collection in the world.

The staff are also diligent about upgrading mineral specimens on exhibit in Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems and bringing specimens of display quality from new mineral discoveries into the exhibits as they become available.

Exhibit Wins Award 

2009 FM Educational Award The Mineral Oddities exhibit that Minerals staff displayed at the 2009 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show won the award for Friends of Mineralogy’s Best Educational Exhibit by an Institution. Click on the images below for a larger view.

Photo: Head of Minerals Marc Wilson (at right) accepts the award from Friends of Mineralogy president Allan Young at the 2009 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show 

Row 1 (bottom: left to right) 

  • Datolite with Quartz—Dal'negorsk, Russia
  • Rhodochrosite—Catamarca, Argentina

Row 2 (middle: left to right) 

  • Fluorite—Tennessee
  • Calcite with Jamesonite—Baia Marie, Romania
  • Beryl variety Aquamarine—Pakistan

2009 FM Award CaseRow 3 (top: left to right) 

  • Barite—Tajikistan
  • Chalcopyrite on Tetrahedrite—Dal' negorsk, Russia