The Geological Institutes of Göttingen were founded in 1884. However, the foundation of today’s museum dates back even further to the establishment of the Royal Academic Museum in 1773. The geological-paleontological collections were incorporated into a separate museum in 1877 in the Berliner Strasse. In 1974 the museum was moved to a new building in the Goldschmidtstrasse at the north campus of the university, were it was brought together with the geographic, mineralogical and geological institutes of the Faculty of Geosciences.
Today the museum is home to one of the largest geo-scientific collections of Germany.
Its international importance rests in particular on the collections of its paradigmatic samples and archive over a 1000 scientific publications. A museum exhibit in the foyer of the auditorium is in preparation.
The Göttinger Collection is one of the largest geo-scientific collections in Germany. It includes, in a Movopakt-System of about 30.000 drawers, documents of the geological and biological history of the earth, such as rocks, rock structures, fossils and drill cores etc. Large samples are stored in shelves. Material from examination work, which is not to be kept permanently are kept in storage facilities outside the institute. The collection is structured as follows:
- Systematic collections (vertebrates, invertebrates, plantfossils, microfossils)
- Regional stratigraphic collection
- Amber collection
- Deposit collection
- Teaching collection
The purpose of the collections is to retrieve, conserve, keep, make accessible and present documents of the history of the earth and of life. From this result following activities:
- Retrieval and preservation (preparation and conservation) of rocks and fossils
- Safe storage in the collection
- Acquisition of the inventory in a scientific catalogue
- Making available collection material for research, teaching and exhibitions
A list of publications which deal with the samples in the Göttinger Collection can be obtained on a CD against a fee.
Further information can be found on the website of the museum.