|Originally defined in 1873 by Professor Archibald Geikie, the holder of the first Chair of Geology at Edinburgh University, as "a museum for the teaching of geology", the geology collections at the Cockburn Museum are made up of objects which reflect the entire geological spectrum. There are over 130,000 specimens including rocks, minerals, ores, fossils, historical documents manuscripts and samples, maps (geological and topographic), photographs, computer data and archives of activity by famous Earth scientists dating back as far as the late eighteenth century. Originally brought together for the instruction of students, the teaching collections have been continually added to and there are also large research collections. At the same time the existence of the Cockburn Geological Museum, over many years, has led to major donations of special and rare specimens (particularly minerals), which provide extremely valuable reference material for research and display. The geographical emphasis of the collection is on Scotland and the British Isles but specimens are derived from global sources. The collection covers the time period 1790 to the present in terms of the historical documents and maps, but covers the billions of years of Earth history in the case of the geological specimens.
This Collection has Full Accreditation status with The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries (MLA)