Archduke Johann’s natural science collections are the historic core of our museum, and in the 19th century the Joanneum was the scene of natural scientific discoveries of global importance.

The new Natural History Studies Centre offers ideal technical conditions for the preservation and exploration of our natural sciences collections.

The mineralogical collection developed on the basis of Archduke John’s private collection, that comprised several thousand exquisite specimens. Having grown to some 80,000 exhibits, today the collection is divided into a systematic and a regional section.

As the centrepiece of the overall collection both in terms of its content and its historical make-up and atmosphere, the systematic mineral collection housed in two large rooms plays an outstanding role among European mineral museums. The aim is to preserve it in its typically nineteenth-century style. These rooms also house the gem and meteorite collection.

The Styria collection comprises more than 13,000 minerals and is a geoscience archive, so to speak, of Austria’s mineral-richest province. This area of the collection also features the large Styria relief on a scale of 1:37,500 from the turn of the century, and the last part of Archduke John’s private collection, that was bestowed in 1911.

The rock collection and deposit collection with some 10,000 ore samples may be viewed by prior arrangement.

Special interest

The Joanneum was also the work-place of Friedrich Mohs from 1812 to 1817, whom Archduke John called to Graz as the first curator and professor of mineralogy. It was during his time in Graz that he also devised the ten-part (Mohs) scale of hardness, that is still an important definition of hardness today.

Centre of Natural History

8045 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9000