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The Bryn Mawr College Mineral Collections

The Bryn Mawr College Geology Department has one of the finest collections in the USA of minerals from Pennsylvania and around the world. The Collections have been used for study, research and display for over 100 years.

About the Collections
(Click on photos for identification, locality, and larger view.)

The Department's founder, Florence Bascom, established the initial collection of rocks, minerals, and fossils for use in the classroom and for exhibit. Her personal label and/or Department labels in her hand may be found on old specimens in the early College Collections

Click on photos for full-size image




Photo credits: "Rock" Currier.

In 1903, Theodore Rand, a Philadelphia lawyer who lived in Radnor, left the College his large collection of minerals. This collection was merged with the College collection in the 1940's to bring the total number of specimens up to about 9500.




Photo credits: "Rock" Currier.

In 1958, the family of George Vaux, Jr. gave his collection of over 8000 specimens to the College. The Vaux Collection includes specimens collected from the late 1800's through 1930, and specimens collected from old localities, many of which are no longer accessible. They include minerals from around the world and a fine collection from Pennsylvania localities.

aurichalcite on calcite

opal psedo celectite

jordanite and sphalerite

Photo credits: "Rock" Currier.

Several recent donations from local collectors have strengthened the holdings further. As of the year 2000, more than 25,000 minerals have been donated to Bryn Mawr College.

Viewing the Collections

There are 1500 minerals on exhibit in 28 hall cases in the Park Science Center. Dorothy Wyckoff, Professor of Geology from 1930-1966, arranged several hall cases of large specimens from the College Collection, as well as teaching exhibits in the Introductory, Mineralogy, and Paleontology laboratories. Harold W. Arndt, Associate Curator from 1958 - 1989, selected many of the finest minerals from the Vaux Collection for display in hall cases along the first and second floors of the Physics and Math wings of the Park Science Center. In addition, a display of fluorescent minerals (many from the Franklin Mine in New Jersey) is housed in a special dark room.

hall case

The Bryn Mawr College Geology Department welcomes visitors to the Mineral Collections. The hall cases are accessible to individual visitors weekdays during the academic year. Large groups may arrange visits or guided tours by contacting Maria Luisa Crawford, Curator. Researchers wishing to access the Collections for study should contact the curator.

hall case

Visitor information

Photo credits: "Rock" Currier.

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