The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences

Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences

Photo: Atsushi Noguchi

Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EQ
Tel: +44 01223 333456

The University of Cambridge’s Oldest Museum

The Sedgwick  Museum of Earth Sciences is a University of Cambridge institution dedicated to showcasing artifacts of the natural world. Located on the University’s Downing Site, this museum gives visitors easy access to the city centre.

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The Sedgwick Museum opened in 1728 as a result of Dr. John Woodward’s donation of rocks and fossils to the University of Cambridge.  It seems appropriate that the University’s oldest museum should hold the oldest exhibits; several minerals on display are relics from the planet’s formation over four billion years ago. In addition to rocks and minerals, the museum also includes specimens donated by scientists such as Charles Darwin and Mary Anning.

A Short Video on the Museum’s Geology Department

Exhibitions

Sedwick Museum Iguanodon

Photo: Chryssie’s Greece

Today, there are over 1 million minerals and fossils in the Sedgwick Museum’s collection. Specific exhibitions showcase rocks and fossils collected during Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle, as well as over a million fossils dating from 3000 million years ago to the present.  Of course, one of the museum’s most popular exhibits is a complete skeleton of the elephant-sized Iguanodon.

[Editor's note:  To learn more about Darwin's travels on the Beagle, check out this book on his mission in the Galapagos.]

The museum is open to the public and serves as one of the many attractions for Cambridge tourism. Along with this, the Sedgwick museum also acts as an educational tool for both researchers and students at the University. The museum is part of the Department of Earth Sciences and it plays an active role in the department’s research and teaching activities.

The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences also hosts many fun events throughout the year. Visitors to the Sedgwick Museum have the chance to attend talks, interactive presentations, and perhaps even the annual Cambridge Science Festival.  Please check in with the museum for specific event dates and details.

Map Location of The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences

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