Numerous categorized, colorful gems and minerals.


Since its inception in 1848, the UWGM permanent collection has grown to include rare and world-class specimens important to geoscience research and education. It contains over 150,000 geological and paleontological specimens, as well as voucher specimens for research conducted by more than a century’s worth of graduate students in the Department of Geoscience at UW–Madison. We also serve as a designated repository for vertebrate fossils from federal lands and National Park Service specimens.

Researchers, faculty, instructors, students, and others needing more detailed information on our collections should contact our Museum Curator, Carrie Eaton, at

Noteworthy holdings

  • A premier collection of fossils from the Waukesha Lagerstätte, a deposit in Wisconsin that remarkably features the preservation of soft-bodied organisms; these fossils provide one of the best glimpses into what life was like during the Early Silurian Period (~428 to 436 million years ago)
  • A historic mastodon skeleton assembled from the bones of two mastodons collected in 1897 and 1898. Click to learn more about our mastodon skeleton. 
  • A scientifically significant collection of trackways and fossil tetrapods from the Triassic of Wyoming
  • Dinosaurs and reptiles from the Jurassic Morrison Formation and Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation
  • Fish, birds, and reptiles from the Cretaceous Niobrara Formation
  • A lithostratigraphic collection of Paleozoic fossils from Wisconsin, including fossils illustrated in the Geology of Wisconsin, Survey of 1873–1879.

Collections Research Visits and Policies

Access to the collections is granted to qualified researchers on a case by case basis. To schedule a research visit to the collection, or for inquiries regarding photo releases for specimens, please contact Museum Curator Carrie Eaton, at

Collections Management Policy

UWGM Loan Policy

Destructive Sampling Guidelines

A student in the fossil storage area