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Fryxell Geology Museum

Earth's history as told by its rocks, minerals and fossils!

The museum, named after Dr. Fritiof Fryxell, has become one of the largest and finest collections of rocks, minerals and fossils in the Midwest. Begun in the late 1880s with a modest natural history collection, the museum now boasts over 1,500 rock, mineral, and fossil specimens. For a snapshot of the museum take this virtual tour.

On display are a complete skeleton of a Tylosaurus "sea serpent", skulls of Parasaurolophus, Ankylosaurus, Apatosaurus, Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex and a 2-billion-year-old fossil!

Of particular interest is a state-of-the-art fluorescent mineral display and an exhibit of the complete 22-foot long skeleton of Cryolophosaurus, a large crested carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Antarctica in 1991 by Augustana paleontologist Dr. William Hammer.

The Fryxell Geology Museum gratefully thanks the Lasco Family for their generous gift!
Stop in to see a recent donation of a rare amphibian fossil from the famous Mazon Creek area.
Discovered and donated by the family of Zada Adell and Leonard A. Lasco, the fine specimen shows nice preservation of the skull, body and limb material.

Newly on display, is a piece of the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia on February 15, 2013.

The museum is open to the public and free-of-charge. We also offer free school fieldtrip programs and geology discovery kits.

Questions about meteorites? Click here for information.

Available in the College bookstore: the posthumous publication of Dr. Fryxell's book Ferdinand Hayden: A Young Scientist in the Great West 1853-1855, a stirring narrative that chronicles Hayden's scientific expeditions before he advocated the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872.

Hours and location

Admission is free.

The Fryxell Geology Museum is located in the Swenson Hall of Geosciences (near the Admissions Office). Use the 38th Street campus entrance. Click here for directions and a campus map (The museum and building are listed as 39 and 89 on the campus map.)

The museum is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and from 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during the academic school year.The museum will be CLOSED April 18-April 21 for Easter Break.

Free school field trips generally are scheduled between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday through Friday during the academic year.

For specific times and dates to schedule field trips, please call (309) 794-7318 in advance.

Join us for our Spring Open House!
Saturday night, 8:30pm-10:00pm, May 10th, 2014

Augustana College's John Deere Planetarium and Fryxell Geology Museum will be open to the public on Saturday, May 10 2014 for an evening of stargazing, planet viewing and rock, mineral and fossil exploration. The planetarium is located next door to the Fryxell Geology Museum (see above for directions) at 820 38th St. Rock, Island on Augustana's campus. 
The planetarium and museum will be open from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., with indoor and outdoor programs in the planetarium, the Carl Gamble Observatory, Fryxell Geology Museum and the building's grounds. In the event of cloudy sky conditions, the indoor planetarium programs will still be offered.This year's open house will feature three planets, Jupiter, the solar system's largest planet, Saturn and its magnificent ring system and Mars, the fabled red planet. Our telescopes will reveal the planets as well as the mountains and craters of the Earth's Moon. 
There is no charge for admission.