The University has seven museum collections of national and international importance, each one ranking amongst the finest in the country. They are used for teaching and research at all levels.
The Department of Geology and Petroleum Geology houses extensive collections of minerals (c. 12,000), rocks (c. 9,000) and fossils (c. 12,000). A selection of mineral and fossil material is on display in corridor areas of the Department, and members of the public can visit by arrangement through the Department.
Although some material dates back to the time of Prof James Nicol, it was Prof H.A. Nicholson who created the basis of the collection and who added a large number of fossil corals and bryozoa. Recent additions to the collection include the A.G. Lyon Collection of Rhynie chert plants (mainly peels), and also newly discovered arthropods from the Windyfield chert; both deposits occur near Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, and are of Early Devonian age. Other recent acquisitions include type material of trace fossils from the Permian of the Falkland Islands, and Devonian fossil fish material from the Midland Valley and Caithness.
The collections are mainly used for research and teaching. Material is made available for study on an international basis. Requests to view or borrow specimens should be made to the Hon. Curator.
Honorary Curator: Professor Nigel H. Trewin
Details on the other Aberdeen University Museum Collections.