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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.

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.

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 25 000-kg boulder of native iron which Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld found at Uvifaq on Disko Island  in 1870, during his first journey to Greenland.
We have 85 mineral holotypes preserved at the museum. These are compiled in the list of collection of type specimens.

A computer catalogue (only in Swedish) of the mineral collection is available over the internet.

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 meteorite catalogue.

The Hedin collection consists of ca. 2200 rock specimens collected during Sven Hedins expeditions in Central Asia.
The topographical collection consists of 20,000, partly not yet catalogued minerals, rocks and ores.

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

Find out more:
Type specimens

photo: Michael P Cooper
Water-colour: Caroline Pettersson
Smokey quartz
Water-colour: Caroline Pettersson
Water-colour: Caroline Pettersson