The Geology of Illinois Gallery Seeks Donors and Exhibitors

Illinois fluorite specimen

The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is forming a new exhibit gallery devoted to Illinois geology. This permanent exhibit, named the Geology of Illinois Gallery, will be housed in the Natural Resources Building on campus. The Gallery will become a focal point of the Survey, showcasing exceptional minerals and fossils of Illinois and providing educational information.

The goal is to increase earth science awareness and introduce geologic concepts. The Gallery will be open to the public and will encourage school field trips and visits from those who are curious about early life, the development of life-forms, and the foundation of rocks and minerals.

We are building a collection of mineral specimens for a rotational display that will showcase world-class examples of minerals found in Illinois, including fluorite, barite, benstonite, calcite, galena, sphalerite, strontianite, and witherite. We are also seeking fossils that represent the diverse habitats of Illinois from ten thousand to five hundred million years ago, including lagerstätten, Mazon Creek flora and fauna, Pontiac crinoids, Grafton trilobites, and specimens from the recently discovered Georgetown fossil rain forest.

Fluorite photoWe can assure donors that their donated specimens will appear in a permanent rotational display and will be curated and catalogued for complete accountability. When specimens are not on display, they will be secured, stored, and delicately preserved in a walk-in safe. All specimens will be preserved and handled with the utmost care, and all donors will be appropriately recognized in the Gallery.

For more information, please contact Kathy Atchley, ISGS, 615 E. Peabody, Champaign, IL 61620; phone: 217-244-9527; e-mail:

Electronic donations are accepted on the University of Illinois Foundation web page at Search for the Geology of Illinois Gallery Fund. Or, download a printable gallery donation form (pdf).