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  • Huvudmeny

Collections and databases

The collections of the department reflect almost three hundred years of collecting activities, which culminated during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The present acquisition rate is about 200 specimens per year. New material is usually obtained on an exchange basis and by field collecting.

Collections

Pyrobelonite. Photo: Michael P Cooper

Pyrobelonite. Photo: Michael P Cooper

Mineral collection

The mineral collection comprises some 150,000 catalogued specimens, 51% of which originate from Swedish deposits. Among the specialities is a very extensive collection of minerals from the Långban mines, Filipstad, Värmland (approximately 25,000 pieces).

Classical ore deposits like Sala, Falun, Malmberget and Boliden are well-represented, as are minerals from the famous pegmatite fields of Sweden, like Ytterby, Utö and Varuträsk.

A database of the Mineral collection can be reached through Naturarvexternal link, opens in new window (filter on "NRM Mineralogy")

Smoky quartz. Water colour: Caroline Pettersson

Smoky quartz. Water colour: Caroline Pettersson

Wellknown mineral collectors

The collection includes specimens that have belonged to renowned scientists like Jacob Berzelius, Wilhelm Hisinger and Gustaf Flink.

An impressing suite of 6,800 exquisite specimens, donated by the mineralogist Hjalmar Sjögren in 1901, is displayed in the original, mahogany show-cases. The department also owns the old collections of Bergskollegium (The Board of Mines; 1637-1857), transferred to the museum in 1859.

Among the peculiarities is a 22 000-kg boulder of native iron which Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld found at Uvifaq on Disko Island  in 1870, during his first journey to Greenland, which is placed outside the southern wing of the museum. Read more about the Ovifak boulder.

Type specimens

The Type collection contains 85 mineral holotypes preserved at the museum. These are compiled in the list of type specimens.

Meteorite collection 

The meteorite collection contains about one thousand specimens from 311 different meteorites. Most Swedish meteorites are represented, including ca 200 stones from the Hessle shower in 1869 and several Muonionalusta irons of which the largest weighs more than 200 kg. The collection is computer catalogued in the Meteorite catalogueexternal link.

Hedin collection

The Hedin collection consists of ca. 2200 rock specimens collected during Sven Hedins expeditions in Central Asia. A database of the Hedin collection can be reached through Naturarvexternal link, opens in new window (filter on "NRM Mineralogy" and "Hedin")

Malachite. Water colour: Caroline Pettersson

Malachite. Water colour: Caroline Pettersson

Topographical collection and sample collection

The topographical collection consists of 20,000, partly not yet catalogued minerals, rocks and ores. We have also a separate sample collection with rock specimens, rock powders and mineral separates from many of the rocks dated at our isotope geology laboratory.

Nodule collection

The Nodule collection consists of iron and manganese nodules collected from the bottom of the Baltic Sea, the Bothnian Sea and the Barents Sea by researchers from Luleå Technical Univerity. It was donated to the museum in 1997. A database of the Nodule collection is available through Naturarvexternal link, opens in new window (filter on "NRM Nodules")

Use of the collections

Material from the collections is used for public exhibits and for research. Scientists who wish to obtain samples for research purposes should contact Jörgen Langhofexternal link, who is the curator in charge. Material is also available for loan (to temporary exhibitions etc.) under specified conditions

Library

A library containing geological and mineralogical literature also belongs to the department, mainly for internal use among the researchers.

Databases

Welinite. Photo: Michael P Cooper

Welinite. Photo: Michael P Cooper

Collection databases

The main Mineral collection, the Hedin collection and the Nodule collection can be searched at Naturarvexternal link, opens in new window. In addition, there are special databases for the Meteorite collectionexternal link Swedish mineral localitiesexternal link, and a list of Type specimen.

Age database

In addition, a separate database with radiometric age determinations of Swedish rocks and minerals, has been created by the department in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU). It is now hosted and maintained by the SGU. See under the Swedish radiometric age database.