What's on at the Geology Collections

Apart from the permanent displays in the Rock Room and South Wing first floor corridors the Geology Collections feature in a number of different exhibitions across the UCL campus.

Eight in the Octagon: Medieval and Renaissance Perspectives

Date: 19 January - 31 July. Location: Octagon Gallery, Ground floor of the Wilkins building, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Inspired by the Octagon’s shape and location, historians of science and culture investigate the number eight as a significant principle in Medieval and Renaissance systems of measurement, cosmology, design and creativity.

The Geology Collections have lent a number of 8 sided crystal models, as well as several fluorite samples.

Current Exhibitions

Sir William Ramsay Display

Ongoing. Location: Malet Place, UCL Engineering, corner of Torrington Place and Malet Street, UCL.

A small display on the third floor exhibiting objects exploring the work of William Ramsay, the discoverer of the Nobel Gases. Ramsay taught at UCL between 1887 - 1913, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1904 "in recognition of his services in the discovery of the inert gaseous elements in air".

The original sample of Cleveite from which Ramsay identified Helium forms part of the Geology Collection, and is displayed alongside the original scientific instruments Ramsay used to discover the gases. 

For further information on the Engineering Department please visit their website. Please note that visitors will need to pass through a manned security barrier to view this display. Staff and students are asked to bring their UCL ID with them. Outside visitors will need to talk to the security officer on duty.

Previous Exhibitions

Human Evolution - The story of us - poster 1

Exhibition: Human evolution – the story of us. Pop-Up Exhibition.

7th March 2014. Location: The Rock Room, South Wing (Wilkins Building), UCL.

Humans and chimpanzees last shared a common ancestor approximately 6.5 million years ago. Numerous species of hominins (human ancestors) have existed since then, but Homo sapiens (us) are the only species to still survive.

‘Human Evolution – the story of us’ was curated by staff from UCL Bio-Anthropology and featured rarely displayed objects from UCL's Bio-Anthropology Collection.

Digital Frontiers: Smart, Connected and Participatory.

5th July 2013 - 20 December 2013. Location: The Octagon Gallery
(Wilkins Building), UCL.

Digital Frontiers aimed to explore how emerging technologies are changing the way we access and experience culture and asks questions about the nature of art and technology.

The Geology Collections were represented by NASA images from the Regional Planetary Image Facility. 

Habits, cleavages and fractures. Pop-Up Exhibition

31st May 31 2013. Location: The Rock Room, South Wing (Wilkins Building), UCL.

This special one off pop-up exhibition was staged by the Graduate Sculpture students from the Slade School of Fine Art. 

'Habits, cleavages and fractures' featured the artists own work alongside the permanent displays and Geological Collections. 

The artists were given free reign to use their work to interpret the Rock Room space. The exhibition involved a number of objects and actions being inserted, tested and tried out within the Geology Collections.

Impact! Pop-Up Exhibition

 March 1st 2013. Location: The Rock Room, South Wing (Wilkins Building), UCL.
Impact! Pop-Up Poster

Curated by UCL and Birkbeck PhD students from the Centre for Planetary Sciences Impact! featured NASA images of the Moon and Mars taken from the Regional Planetary Image Facility at UCL, one of only seven centres outside the USA (and the only in the UK) to house the archive of NASA planetary images from the 1960s until the present day.

Visitors were able to view photos of the Moon from Lunar Orbiter (1966-67) and Apollo missions (1963-72), and compare them to images of Mars taken by the Viking 1 and 2 Missions (1976 – 1980). The exhibition also featured meteorites from UCL and Birkbeck Collections.