Petrology Collection
The rock, or petrology, collection consists of several thousand hand samples and a number of drill cores from around the world. This collection is primarily used for research and in general samples are available on loan to researchers in both academia and industry. Most of collection is concentrated in specific varieties of rock, some of which are detailed below.
Layered Mafic Intrusions
The collection of layered mafic intrusions consists largely of samples and drill core from  the Bushveld Complex, South Africa, the Stillwater Complex, Montana and various other bodies including Skaergaard, Greenland, Noril’sk, Russia and the Great Dyke, Zimbabwe.
Mantle Xenoliths
This collection contains a large and varied number of mantle xenoliths from localities worldwide and includes samples from basalts and kimberlites. Many samples remain unstudied.
The collection includes many different kinds of volcanic rocks: basalts, porphyry, obsidian, and ash from recent eruptions. Many of the basalt samples contain mantle xenoliths.
Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth
The museum serves as a repository for the drill cores obtained by the NSF-supported Hawaii Scientific Drilling Project. The drill cores represent the longest continuous stratigraphic record from any ocean island.
A collection of igneous and metamorphic rocks from the Labrador Coast, including the founding collection of the Kiglapait Layered Intrusion and material from the Nain Anorthosite Project. Donated by Tony Morse, UMass.
This large collection includes a large number of samples, powders and thin sections from the Norlil’sk, Russia, igneous intrusion and ore bodies. Donated by Gerald Czamanske and Valeri Federenko.
An hIstoric collection of samples collected along the 40th Parallel through New England by C.H. Hitchcock in the early 20th Century.
The Hall of Planet Earth contains over 150 samples of varying composition and origin, including numerous large samples, each chosen to illustrate fundamental properties of the earth and how it functions. Samples are generally available for study and many are available for teaching purposes.
An extensive collection of over 2,000 basalts and xenoliths from localities around the world. Donated by Emile Jagoutz, Max Planck Institute.
For collections inquiries, please contact Curator Ed Mathez ( or Collections Manager Njoki Gitahi (
Wheeler Collection
Hawai’i Drill Core
Hitchcock Collection
Jagoutz Collection