Paleontology is the study of prehistoric life based on fossil evidence. The Academy’s collection contains more than 23,200 specimens, many of which come from the Mazon Creek area along with other representatives from Silurian and Devonian deposits in the Midwest and some early Green River fish. Among our prominent collectors is Jonathan H. Britts, a specialist in Pennsylvanian plant fossils. Many of our specimens are from localities that are no longer accessible.
Geology is the study of history of the earth as recorded in rocks. The Academy collection contains more than 11,100 specimens of rock and mineral specimens from around the Midwest, some representing mines and other localities that are no longer accessible.