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Natural History Musem, London


Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is home to a world-renowned collection of fossils and minerals, has significant historic and scientific value, and has been providing useful data for scientists and wondrous exhibits for tourists since 1881.


Natural History Museum

The early exhibits were borne out of collections from the British Museum. The stunning Alfred Waterhouse building was built and opened in 1881 and later incorporated the Geological Museum (now called the ‘red zone’) in 1985.

The Geological Museum, which houses a mineral collection which numbers more than 30,000, started life in 1841 as part of the Geological Survey. It moved three times before moving to South Kensington into a building that was designed by the Science Museum architects Sir Richard Allinson and JH Markham and built between 1929 and 1933. 

Still now if you stand outside the eastern entrance of the museum on Exhibition Road you can see the words ‘Geological Survey’ museum carved over the entrance.

Collections and Resources

Natural History Museum

The museum is also home to a world-famous collection of palaeontological specimens including its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons such as the large Diplodocus cast which dominates the central hall and was given as a gift by the Scottish American industrialist Andrew Carnegie after a discussion with King Edward VII, then a keen trustee of the British Museum.

The museum represents a hugely important resource in terms of historic and scientifically important artefacts and has enormous educational value for novices and trained scientists alike.

Natural History Museum

Explore the links to the right to find out more about the Museum’s Identification and Advisory Service, and how visitors can use the facilities and collections.

Text adapted from Wikipedia

100 Great Geosites

Related Links

Museum Resources

Found a rock, fossil or mineral and want to learn more about it? 

Images (top to bottom):
  • The Mineral Gallery © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum
  • Diplodocus in Central Hall © Pascal Terjan (Source Wikimedia Commons) Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
  • Exterior with Pterodactyl © Tony Hisgett (Source Wikimedia Commons) Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
  • Campo del Cielo meteorite © CherryX (Source Wikimedia Commons) Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Earth Science Week

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October 13 - 21
Theme: 'Earth Science in our lives'