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There are approximately 27,000 specimens of rocks, minerals and fossils in the Leeds collections. This includes a wide range of material from around the world, including some rare and interesting specimens. Many of the best specimens were obtained in the nineteenth century by members of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, or were donated to the society by prominent scientists and collectors of the time.


A diverse and well organised collection of c. 7000 specimens, and including examples of many rare mineral species. Among the highlights are:

- Spectacular native silver specimens from Kongsberg
- Among the best specimens of Matlockite ever found, and associated crystals from Wirksworth, Derbyshire
- Examples probably from the historical collections of Sir Alexander Crichton, including malachite from Ekaterinburg, Russia
- Numerous excellent specimens of fluorite in different colour variants, and associated minerals such as galena, from across northern England
- A small number of meteorites


The rock collection is diverse and of great educational value, including many local specimens as well as much material from elsewhere. Highlights include:

- Flexible sandstone from Delhi, India
- An excellent suite of metamorphic rocks from Scandinavia


The fossils are still undergoing preliminary cataloguing and sorting, but include a lot of important and interesting specimens. There are good collections of virtually all the major groups of fossils, including historically important and excellently preserved material. Much of the historical interest in the palaeontology collection is only just becoming clear.

- Type material including Carboniferous crinoids and fish, and Cretaceous sponges
- Entire ichthyosaur and plesiosaur skeletons
- Superb local palaeobotany collections from the Coal Measures, and associated fauna in ironstone nodules
- Extensive Carboniferous Limestone collections
- Exceptionally preserved fossils from the Solnhöfen Limestone, the Rhynie Chert, the Wenlock Limestone and elsewhere
- Abundant mammal remains from a variety of cave and other sites in the UK and abroad; this includes the local Armley Hippo, and some superb cave bear skulls
- Good collections of fish, trilobites, ammonites and bivalves

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