Geoscience Australia is custodian of the National Mineral and Fossil Collection which includes world-class mineral, meteorite, gemstone and fossil specimens. The collection is of scientific, historic, aesthetic, and social significance. Geoscience Australia is responsible for the management and preservation of this collection since 1927, and for facilitating access to it for research, geoscience education and outreach. The material in the collection has been acquired through field discoveries by the organisation, scientific submissions, and via purchases, exchanges, donations and gifts over the years.
Today, the mineral collection comprises 15,000 specimens of which 40% represent overseas localities, with a third of the total collection from Broken Hill, NSW. The fossil collection is dominated by invertebrate species of which a large number are microfossils, it also houses important vertebrate and plant fossils. Many specimens in the collection are 'types', on which the description and name of a new taxa is based. Since 1927 over 45,000 fossils from the collection have been published in journals, forming an essential scientific reference. Over 700 specimens are on permanent display in our museum, which is open to the public Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Specimens from the collection may be available to loan for bona fide purposes.