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Collections & Research

The collection of the Orton Geological Museum contains more than 57,000 lots of rocks, minerals, and fossils cataloged under the standard OSU collection prefix. It houses additional collections of minerals and fossils as well. The total holdings of the research collection are estimated at >500,000 specimens.

The Orton Museum collection is the repository for more than 7,000 name-bearing type and illustrated voucher specimens of fossils.

At any given time, roughly 500 specimens from the collection are displayed in the Museum Gallery. Commonly, the Orton Museum has displays in other locations on the Columbus campus, such as in the Orton Memorial Library of Geology, and in the Main Library. Other displays of Orton Museum specimens are on the regional campuses and in the Ohio History Connection.

Hundreds of published research articles and books incorporate specimens from the Orton Museum. More than 50 Ohio State theses and dissertations have been based in part on specimens from the Museum collection. In addition, many online articles feature the Orton Museum's collection!