Research & Collections


The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' geology collection numbers approximately 7,500 specimens, mostly from North Carolina. Unusual specimens include meteorites and samples from historic gold mines that closed in the early 1900s. The collection also includes specimens from historic corundum and monazite mining operations, as well as radioactive minerals from Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

The collection dates from 1864, when the state of North Carolina appointed its first geologist, Washington Carruthers Kerr, to begin geological surveys of the state. Throughout the latter 1800s and early 1900s the Museum was the repository for samples and data collected by the N.C. Geological Survey. In 1920, the collection gained its first dedicated curator, Harry Davis, who later became Museum director. Recent acquisitions include the entire collection featured in the Museum’s 2005 special exhibit "Treasures Unearthed", purchased and donated by the SAS Institute, and more than 650 faceted gemstones donated by a private faceter.


For loan or other information, please contact Curator of Geology Christopher Tacker at or 919.707.9941.

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