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Support Ohio’s geological legacy: the Orton Geological Museum. Founded in 1874 by Ohio State’s first president, Edward Orton, the museum is housed in Orton Hall. When opened in 1893, Orton Hall was the first building erected in Ohio to house a museum.

For more than 125 years, the Orton Geological Museum has played an important role in teaching, outreach, and research: 

  • Hosting more than 30,000 visitors annually – including Ohio State students, K-12 school groups, scouts, community groups, and scientists from around the world.

Most of the displays in the Orton Museum's Gallery were installed in 1983. Some date as far back as the 1890s. We are now in the early phases of a facelift, one that our STEM teaching and outreach deserves. We need your help to make possible a complete renovation and modernization of museum display space— rocks, minerals, fossils, and Ohio geology. 

This updating is expected to increase the number of visitors to the Orton Museum, to improve its Gallery space for Ohio State classes that use it, and to provide an enhanced museum experience for the general public, including the many school groups that tour the exhibit areas.

There are several ways you can help keep museum displays fresh and up-to-date, as well as contribute to our research and outreach:

1, You can simply donate online.

2, You can write a check payable to The Ohio State University (Orton Museum Support Fund #308759). Mail to: Orton Geological Museum, School of Earth Sciences, 155 South Oval Mall, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, Attn: Prof. Loren Babcock.

3, You can donate specimens that would be useful in our research, teaching, and outreach missions! Nearly all of the specimens you see on display in the Orton Museum were acquired through the extraordinary generosity of people like you, or were collected by faculty and students as part of their research projects. If you think you would like to donate geological specimens, please talk to us.

4, You can consider providing an estate gift. If this is something you might be interested in, we can provide some guidance. Please contact us.

Your support of the Orton Geological Museum will help to educate the next generation of scientists and custodians of our precious geological heritage! Thank you for supporting the museum, and enriching the lives of people for many generations yet to come!