We welcome you to visit us to enjoy the visual treasures throughout the exhibit hall.

The Thomas D. Shaffner Exhibit Hall is organized around several broader themes.

Each of these themes is supported by several galleries that have distinct, individual focuses. The museum uses themes as a means to describe the educational concepts presented to visitors and thus, the themes are not in contiguous space within the exhibit hall. Each gallery consists of a group of exhibits that are organized around a particular focus. 

The five educational themes are:

  • Minerals as natural masterpieces
  • Minerals of the Great Lakes region
  • Minerals of the world
  • Processes that form minerals
  • Minerals and society

Learn more about Exhibit Hall Themes and Galleries

The museum continuously improves the educational content of individual exhibits and less frequently entire galleries. The particular specimens on display change one at a time as new specimens are added to the collection or older ones are moved onto exhibit. The text content of exhibits change as new specimens are exhibited and through the process of continuous renewal. Many of these changes are practically invisible to a repeat visitor. More obvious changes are the creation of entirely new exhibits to replace existing exhibits. There are exhibits, such as new acquisitions, that change frequently.