School of GeoSciences

The Cockburn Geological Museum

The Museum holds an extensive collection of geological specimens that reflect the whole spectrum of Earth science materials including minerals, rocks, meteorites and fossils, as well as historical objects such as maps and photographs.

Two fish fossils overlapping each other and embedded in rock

Geological collections contain a wealth of information. Rocks teach us many things about the past, from how the Earth was formed and changed; from the history of plant and animal life, to how life on Earth responded to major climate changes.

The collections are open to all visitors, including members of the general public by prior arrangement. We are happy to assist with or facilitate outreach activities, tours or talks about geology and Earth History. We can also help with rock identification and examination of fossils and mineral on request.

The Museum demonstrates Edinburgh's prominent position in geological sciences since the time of James Hutton (1726-1797) and its continuing activity today.   For over a century, our collections have been continually added to including major donations of special and rare specimens, which provide extremely valuable reference material for research as well as some beautiful specimens for display.  

Our geology collection has Full Accreditation status with The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries (MLA).


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Explore our collections

With over 130,000 items including special and rare specimens, there's plenty to discover!

Contact details and access to the Museum

We are open to all visitors including students, researchers, schools and the general public by prior arrangement.