The role played by the geological collections of the Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, in documenting the developments in the Earth sciences in The Netherlands and abroad is discussed, as well as the influence exercised by the mining industry and former Dutch colonies. Thus, an overview is given of the variety of the geological collections which were obtained from government institutions, including universities, and private persons. First the early collections, which are poorly represented, are treated. An example is the Cabinet of the Stadtholder William V. Geological exploration during the 19th century, mainly in Asia, but also in the Americas, left its traces in our museum. Of special interest is the von Siebold collection, a small collection of unattractive minerals and fossils, but the first of its kind from Japan. Interpreting the geological history of a region or a period is the next phase in geological research. An early example is the Staring collection, brought together by the Commission for the geological map of The Netherlands, of which Dr. Winand Staring was the Secretary. The influence of mining developments is shown amongst others by the Jongmans collection of Carboniferous-Permian plants and stratigraphical samples of the Dutch coal mines, illustrating the rise and fall of the Dutch coal industry.

Scripta Geologica. Special Issue

Released under the CC-BY 4.0 ("Attribution") License

Naturalis journals & series

Winkler Prins, C. (2004). [Proceedings of the VII international symposium 'Cultural heritage in geosciences, mining and metallurgy : libraries, archives, museums' : "Museums and their collections" held at the Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Leiden (The Netherlands), 19-23 May, 2003 / Cor F. Winkler Prins and Stephen K. Donovan (editors)]: Geological collections of the Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum (Leiden, The Netherlands): cultural heritage of the geosciences and mining. Scripta Geologica. Special Issue, 4(33), 293–307.