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Collection Highlights

The University of Michigan mineral collection was initiated in 1838 and peaked in prestige and size in the 1920s and 1930s. The collection includes many historic specimens collected from late 1700s to early 1900s. The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum shares responsibility and co-ownership of the University of Michigan mineral collection 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 strong collection of Keweenaw Copper District minerals. L. L. Hubbard donated half of his outstanding Copper Country 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.
  • Several hundred specimens of significant quality with some being “world-class.”
  • European suite of Baron Louis Lederer’s mineral collection; the American suite is held at Princeton University. 

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


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.