The Watson Collection, on the museum's ground floor, houses the Museum's decorative and building stones, covering not only England, but materials used throughout the world. This collection is a valuable resource for architects, and those involved in retoring historic buildings.
A special exhibit entitled "Life in the Jurassic Sea." traces dinosaur and other sealife in the Jurassic period, while the Burgess Shale exhibit looks at the fossil remains of plant life found in the Canadian Rockies. The mineral collection has over 40,000 specimens, making it one of the largest in the UK. Notable strengths of the mineral collection are the Cornish and Cumbrian minerals.
The Hume Collection, named after Sir Abraham Hume (1749-1838), features both cut and uncut diamonds. Other exhibits display colour in minerals, and give special atterntion to Calcite, jade, and gemstones.