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Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences



The collection, part bequeathed to the University by Woodward in 1728, part purchased from his executors, is one of the world’s oldest intact geological collections and is historically unique. It comprises 9,400 rocks, minerals, fossils and archaeological artefacts. The collection was added to sporadically during the 18th century by successive Woodwardian professors.

This collection contains specimens obtained from many of Woodward’s contacts including members of the Royal Society such as Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Christopher Wren. The collection is international in scope, there being specimens from most of the known 17th Century world including those obtained from the explorer William Dampier, Johann Jakob Scheuzer and Abraham von Schönberg (superintendent of mines in Saxony and Lord Chamberlain to August III of Poland). Many specimens have been figured in early treatises concerning theories on the origin of fossils, including around 50 fossils figured as early as 1670 by the artist and naturalist Agostino Scilla. Others have been figured by Martin Lister and John Morton. It also contains the world’s earliest collection of minerals from the Carpathians. The collection is remarkably well-documented for its time, in Woodward’s posthumously published catalogues.

To enquire about this collection please contact us.

Museum Opening Times

The Museum will be closed on Tuesday 28th May, from 10am - 12pm

Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm

Saturday: 10am - 4pm

Sunday: Closed

Admission Free

No booking required (except groups)