Die Erdwissenschaftlichen Sammlungen der ETH Zürich
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Earth Science Collections


The palaeontological collections of the universities, societies, and museums in Zurich:

Oswald Heer on the transition from the natural history collection to the modern scientific collection, pp. 283–314.



Come along with the curator to the treasure chambers of the Department of Earth Sciences!


NZZ Swiss made (Video)

The collections of the Department of Earth Sciences contain rich material of fossils, rocks, minerals and geological relief maps. They represent an archive of earth's history and allow the documentation of diverse geological processes. A small part of the collections is on display in the permanent exhibition of focusTerra and temporary exhibitions on specific earth science topics are also presented there.

The original core of the earth science collections of the academic institutions in Zurich are collection assets of the "Naturforschenden Gesellschaft" of Zurich (est. 1746), which were acquired by the canton of Zurich and soon after integrated in the University of Zurich. After the foundation of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich the collections were administrated jointly by the University and the ETH Zurich until they were finally entrusted in the care of the ETH in 1909. From this point on the two main parts of the collections — the Geological-Palaeontological Collection on the one hand and the Mineralogical-Petrographical Collection on the other hand — have been curated by the Geological Institute and the Institute for Mineralogy and Petrology respectively.

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© 2017 ETH Zurich | Imprint | 14 November 2013