Rocks and Minerals

Science Collection
In 1854, the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM)  first opened under the name of the Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History. The Lyceum was home to many Natural History Collections, including fossils, rocks and minerals, taxidermy animals, insect specimens, fish, and plant samples. The name was later changed to the Kent Scientific Institute, which continued to be the home to an extensive Natural History Collection. The largest subset of the collection was the Rocks and Minerals collection.

The Rocks and Minerals Collection has continued to grow since the 1850s. Most of the Collection grew through the generosity of a large number of donors who gave their collections to the museum. The Grand Rapids Rock Club began in 1958 with meetings held at the Grand Rapids Public Museum and was later renamed the Grand Rapids Mineral Society as part of the Midwest Federation of Mineralogical and Geological Societies. This group also contributed rocks and mineral specimens to the Museum’s permanent collections.  Other museums have contributed as well such as the Deseret Museum in Utah and the United States National Museum of Natural History.

The GRPM Collection includes a wide variety of rocks and minerals that can be found locally, nationally, and worldwide. Some of the sub-groups include the igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, sedimentary rocks, and silicate minerals. The Museum has a large collection of precious gemstones, minerals, and native elements that are often used for jewelry.