Our rock collection spans more than 250 years. Its sub-collections are housed in thousands of drawers and relate to many famous geologists and historic events.
The collection was built during a period of important advances in the understanding of Earth's formation and evolution.
At the turn of the nineteenth century the quest for knowledge fuelled a series of large-scale expeditions, many of which are remembered as feats of heroism and human endurance. The Museum's rock collection contains samples from many of these expeditions.
Discover geological samples collected during the search for a safe passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Learn about the historic Antarctic expeditions represented in our rock collection, including the journeys of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott.
What can excavations in the Alps reveal about the geological history of the region?
We have a small number of rocks collected during George Mallory and Sandy Irvine's fateful attempt of Mount Everest's summit. Find out more about the expedition and the significance of these geological specimens.
During Challenger’s four-year cruise, scientists collected basalts, trachytes and andesites from volcanic islands.
The Natural History Museum
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5163
The rock collection contains sub-collections from these well-known scientists: