The Earth Systems collection of around 70,000 specimens represents Scotland’s geological history and global mineralogical diversity.


Our collection of minerals, meteorites and rocks includes everything from 4.65 Byr old meteorites through to anthropogenic minerals. We have nearly 2,000 mineral species as per International Mineralogical Association classification. Click here to see the list. You are welcome to contact us if you would like to use any for research.

Notable collections include; minerals from important historical mining regions in or near Scotland, an internationally renowned agate collection, the Heddle Collection of Scottish minerals, many unusual igneous rocks from inaccessible regions, and a small but diverse meteorite collection (including three of the four known Scottish meteorites).

Altogether we have approximately 70% of all known mineral species from Scotland including good representation from the Leadhills/Wanlockhead, Strontian, Alva and Talcoty mines, to name a few. Our igneous suites include a good coverage of St Kilda island rocks and Gardar Suite rocks from Greenland. Important historical specimens include eastern Africa ores collected by David Livingstone, the first Beagle expedition, and the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition.

Whilst our oldest collection of rocks was assembled nearly 300 years ago we are still actively interested in acquiring new specimens.


Dr Rachel Walcott: Principal Curator of Earth Systems

Rachel WalcottSpecific responsibility: Head of Mineral, Meteorite and Rock collections with particular emphasis on developing our ore mineral and bio-mineral collections.
Research interests: Tectonics, and tectonic geomorphology, geo-biology interactions, and tracing historical collections.

You can find out more about Dr Rachel Walcott here.

Peter Davidson: Senior Curator of Mineralogy

Specific responsibility: Curation of the mineral, meteorite and gem collections, XRD and FTIR analysis.
Research interest/expertise: Mineralogy, meteorites, topographical mineralogy (especially Scottish), the history of National Museums Scotland and its mineral collections, the use of minerals as paints and pigments, the application of x-ray diffraction analysis, mineralogical etymology, health and safety (hazardous substances).

You can find out more about Peter Davidson here.

Emily Brown: Assistant Curator of Earth Systems

Specific responsibility: Providing curatorial support across Earth Systems. Working particularly with the gemstone collection and auditing the mineral collection.
Research interests:
Gemmology, copper mineralisation, granite petrogenesis and the use of stable isotopes, particularly copper, as tracers of provenance in minerals and rocks.  

Bob Gooday: Earth Systems Analyst

Specific responsibility: Providing analytical support to Earth Systems. Analysing geological specimens with techniques such as XRD, SEM, and FTIR.
Research interests: Igneous petrology, volcanology, the geology of Scotland’s volcanic districts.  

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