Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden


The Mineralogical Collections


The Dresden mineralogical collections had their origin in the Electoral Art Chamber founded in the 16th century and beside representation also served practical interests in their early days. They were substantially shaped by the scientific development in the 19th and 20th century. The mineralogical collections are important collections of the mineral topography of Saxony and of the systematic mineralogy with pieces from all over the world. They contain unique show pieces for museum purposes. A special meaning is assigned to the collections due to the continuous collection history in more than 400 years. Evidence for this are beside the collection itself the preserved catalogues (gold specimen catalogue 1750, silver specimen catalogues 1755/1763/1764, catalogue of the Royal Saxon Mineral Cabinet 1832-1846, general catalogue of the mineralogical collection of the Royal Mineralogical Museum in Dresden from 1868 as well as newer accession books and catalogues).


National silver specimen National silver specimen

Catalogue of domestic Silver specimens from 1763, volume I, title page and plate III


The mineralogical collections are divided into several independent partial collections:

Saxon Collection 

about 25 000 mineral specimens, sorted by site of discovery;


  • historical Saxon silver specimens (including silver
    discovery in 1477 in Schneeberg)
  • extensive regional collection from Saxony
  • gemstones and semiprecious stones
  • type mineral specimens
  • collection is completely digitally catalogued

Saxon collection
Left side: Proustite on Quartz, Großschirma, acquisition 1806; middle: Mimetesite, Johanngeorgenstadt, acquisition 1806; right side: Chalcedony (Agate) with Quartz and Chalcedony, Heidenau (Kleinsedlitz)

Systematic Collection

about 24 000 mineral specimens, sorted by crystal chemical
systematics of minerals (STRUNZ);


  • historical collection from the 18th and 19th century
  • collection from Baron of Racknitz from 1806
  • collection of show pieces
  • gemstones
  • collection is partly digitally catalogued

Systematic collection
Left side: Beryl (Aquamarine) on Muscovite, Nagar, Pakistan; middle: Wulfenite, Villa Ahumada, Mexico; right side: Galenite, Picher near Joplin, USA

Baldauf Collection (Collection by mining entrepreneur Richard BALDAUF 1848-1931)

about 10 000 mineral specimens in four part collections: systematic collection sorted according to NAUMANN-ZIRKEL, show pieces collection sorted by region, crystal collection and gemstone collection


  • extensive archive estate with letters and receipts
  • collection is completely digitally catalogued

Baldauf collection
Left side: Gold on Quartz, Rosia Montana near Abrud, Romania; middle: historical label with drawing of an Eulytine crystal, Schneeberg, Saxony; right side: Elbaite (Indicolite, Tourmaline) in Pegmatite, Usakos, Namibia

Meteorite Collection

271 meteorites from 205 falls/findings, sorted alphabetically
according to site of discovery;


  • meteorite samples from the 19th century
  • Döll Collection
  • main mass of the meteorites from Nentmannsdorf (Nenntmanndorf)/Saxony and Las Salinas/Chile;
  • collection is completely digitally catalogued

Meteorite collection
Left side: Olivine-Hypersthene Chondrite (L6), L'Aigle, France, finding year 1872; middle: Oktaedrite, type material, Nenntmannsdorf, Saxony, finding year 1803; right side: Iron with silicate inclusions (IVA-ANOM), Steinbach (Rittersgrün), Saxony, finding year 1724