Skip to main content

The University of Alberta's Secret Museums

Hidden in the basement of the Earth Sciences Building at the University of Alberta are an array of dinosaurs: Gorgosaurus, Stegoceras, and Pachycephalosaurus, to name just a few. The University of Alberta's museums are free and open to all, but due to nonexistent advertising and limited hours, they sit empty and silent most days.

The Earth Sciences Building is home to two small but impressive museums. The Paleontology Museum showcases a variety of fossils, including dinosaurs, trilobites (cute little sea bugs that went extinct 251 million years ago), and the huge sea monster Dunkleosteus (pictured below). 

If you've ever wanted to touch dinosaur bones, this is your chance! There's a table of fossils you can touch, including a dinosaur leg bone.

Just down the hall is the Mineralogy and Petrology Museum, home to a large collection of rocks and minerals. Over 1000 specimens are on display, from diamonds to meteorites.

The dinosaurs are probably the most popular exhibit at the university, but my favourite U of A museum is in a different building nearby. The W.G. Hardy Classics Museum is located on the second floor of the Tory Building. 

The Classics Museum is only one room, relatively small and easy to miss, but it's home to beautiful artifacts from ancient civilizations including Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire.

The Paleontology Museum is open from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The Mineralogy and Petrology Museum has the same hours.

The Classics Museum is open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

All three museums are free, with no appointment necessary unless you are taking a large group.