Category Archives: The Collections

The Rock Type Collection

The rock type or petrology collection consists of 190 trays of 4,500 specimens featuring Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary rocks from the UK, around the world and beyond….



A large slab of Wenlock limestone.








The bulk of the collection is sedimentary, represented by numerous sandstone, limestone and mudstone specimens, also containing some stunning examples of siltstone, dolostone, marl and chalk.


We also have a strong representation of igneous petrology predominantly consisting of basalt, gabbro, diortie and granite specimens; with additional examples of peridoite, picrite, syenite and trachyte, and stunning specimens of pegmatite.

There are also some wonderful examples of andesite and rhyloite with amazing obsidian glass, pitchstone and snowflake obsidian specimens. Not to mention volcanic pumice and beautiful banded tuff.



A great example of a metamorphic schist.










The metamorphic petrology features some wonderful slate, schist, amphibolite and gniess specimens; with some truly spectacular phllite, quartzite and marble.


A wonderful specimen of puckered slate.









The collection also contains some weird and wonderful geological features, notably the incredible cone-in-cone formation, septarian nodules and preserved ripple beds.


A specimen of cone-in-cone geological feature.











Some of the material really is “out of this world” with a few examples of meteorites and the products of a meteor impact tektites. The strangest of all, is a small unassuming specimen of fused sand, the preserved moment in time of a lightning strike.


The Fossil Collection

The fossils make up the majority of the collection and also date back to the founding of Leeds Museum in the 1820’s, encompassing the collections of numerous individuals, notably: Cyril P. Castell, Etheldred Bennett, J.V. Stevens and the recently acquired Leeds collector Earnest E. Gregory.

The result is a vast collection of over 530 trays with approximately 16,000 specimens, covering a vast range of fauna and flora from the local region, the UK, and many sites from around the world.

Mariopteris muricata, one of the many wonderful fossil plant specimens.


We have a substantial fossil plant collection of 3,500 specimens from the Carboniferous and Jurassic, which have been extensively studied  and cited.





A modest collection of over 1,700 Ammonites and Belemnites, 1,200 Brachiopods, and over 2,000 Bivalves from the local region and further afield. Some impressive wonders of the archives are full skeletons of marine reptiles and Iguanodon bones collected by Edwin Austin.


Two large dinosaur coprolites from Utah, USA.


A dinosaur egg, dinosaur dung from Utah, and large slabs of ripple beds with the preserved archosaur footprints.




Plus a large collection of fossil fish, sharks teeth and vertebrae, including a three dimensionally preserved Coelacanth, Megalichthys and teeth from the ferocious Megalodon shark.


The collection also contains material from numerous cave deposits, notably: Kents Cavern, Raygill Fissure, Windy Knoll, Dawker Bottom, Victoria Cave and Wookey Hole.  Featuring numerous mammal skeletal material including a type specimen skull of the extinct Ursus arctos cave bear .

Skull of the extinct Ursus arctos.


This wealth of fossil material will soon undergo intense scrutiny when the Geoblitz reviews commence in a few weeks time.

The Mineral Collection

The mineral collection dates back to the 1820’s with specimens being donated by the members of the Museums founding Philosophical and Literature Society, as well as generous donations by individuals and collectors associated with the Society. The collection encompasses the notable: Sir Alexander Crichton mineral collection and the Ullyett & Wright collections to name a few.


The result is a substantial collection of 230 trays with approximately 6,600 specimens, too many to list individual specimens or sub-groups; but as an overview, there is a good representation of the following main groups:

Native metals and non-metals, Sulphides, Oxides, Hydroxides, Fluorides, Halides, Carbonates, Nitrates, Borates, Sulphates, Chromates, Phosphates, Silicates and Ore forming minerals.

Qtz chalcedony

Quartz Chalcedony




A wonderful example of Quartz Chalcedony and deatiled below.



Qtz closeup

Chalcedony detail

Within the collection there are some striking and unsusual specimens that reflect the local region and beyond; with numerous Tektites, Meteorites and a replica of the “Hope diamond“.


Large sheet of Biotite

The collection will be fully investigated as part of the “Geoblitz” project in the near future and hopefully some undiscovered star specimens will emerge.