Rock and Mineral Collections

"One of the most historically important collections in America" – former Bowdoin professor Benjamin Burbank

The department also houses extensive mineral, rock, fossil, and map collections, including specimens collected in the early 1800s by James Bowdoin III and Bowdoin professor Parker Cleaveland.

The James Bowdoin III collection includes purchases of clay crystal models from "Father of Crystallography" Rene Hauy and European specimens from "Father of American Geology" William Maclure.  Professor Cleaveland is known as the "Father of American Mineralogy"; his 1816 "Elementary Treatise on Mineralogy and Geology" was the first book published on American geology and a copy is preserved in Bowdoin's special collections.