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Collection Highlights

The University of Michigan mineral collection is one of the oldest mineral collections in the Great Lakes region. Its importance peaked in the 1920s and 1930s. The collection includes many historic specimens collected from late 1700s to early 1900s. The collection is housed and managed by the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum under the Michigan Mineral Alliance.

The museum features:

  • Many historic specimens collected from late 1700s to early 1900s
  • The only suite of specimens collected by Douglass Houghton (1809-1845), the first State Geologist of Michigan (1837-1845) and second professor at the University of Michigan as chair of geology and mineralogy. The City of Houghton, the home of Michigan Tech, is named after Douglass Houghton.
  • A suite of specimens collected by Silas Douglass (1816-1890), Douglass Houghton's cousin and curator from 1845 to 1874.
  • European suite of Baron Louis Lederer’s mineral collection; the American suite is held at Princeton University.
  • A strong collection of Keweenaw native copper district minerals donated by L. L. Hubbard. Hubbard donated half of his outstanding collection to the University of Michigan and the other half to Michigan Tech as he served on the boards of both institutions.
  • A strong suite of specimens of sulfur from Sicily collected by Walter Hunt.
  • Hundreds of specimens from obscure localities.
  • Several hundred specimens of significant quality with some being “world-class.”

Smithsonite, Masua, Sardinia, Italy.  Cut and polished stalactite.

SPOTLIGHT

The University of Michigan mineral collection is part of a long and distinguished mineralogical history at the University of Michigan. Three University of Michigan faculty members have been given the highest honor bestowed by the Mineralogical Society of America—the Roebling Medal—and there are nine minerals named after University of Michigan faculty and alumni.