The KU Leuven Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences holds a collection of approximately 5.000 minerals which are currently being digitized and made accessible as part of the DiSSCo-Flanders project.
The collection originated in the Cabinet for Mineralogy of the former State University of Leuven, whose collection strongly grew in 1845-1856 under the impulse of Prof. Henri-Barthélemy Waterkeyn (1809-1854). At the end of the 19th century, the collection was further completed by Prof. Henry de Dorlodot (1855-1929) who set up the Coal Museum and Geological Institute in the Charles de Bériotstraat, where the collection was housed and exhibited for a long time.
The mineralogical collection as we know it today was mainly established in the 1920s and 1930s. Starting with minerals mined in Belgium and different purchases, minerals from all over the world collected during expeditions were added later on. Following the split of the University of Leuven in the late the 1960s / early 1970s, a significant part of the collection moved to Louvain-la-Neuve. A substantial subcollection goes back to Prof. Herman J. Bosmans, who donated his private collection to the department.
Source: Cornelis L. & Januarius J. 2020. Over kristalmodellen, kraakeenheden en kwikdampgelijkrichters : Academisch erfgoed in Vlaanderen. Gent, ETWIE/Industriemuseum: 105-106.
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