Scroll down to view some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. Click on the question to view the answer!

We’ve had college students pop in to the museum when they have a 10 minute break between classes.  We’ve had families with young “rockhounds” spend 30 minutes picking out all their favorite specimens. We’ve had long-time mineral hobbyists spend an hour or two closely examining every piece in the collection. You are welcome to stay as little or as long as you’d like, but we’d estimate that the average museum visitor spends about 30 minutes in the museum. 

Nope! The museum has no admission fee. Field Trips are also provided free of charge but must be scheduled in advance.

Nope! Walk-ins are always welcome during our public hours. If you are bringing a large group, calling ahead is always appreciated although not required unless your group wants to participate in a Field Trip program or other activity.

We would love to help you identify your unknown rock or mineral if we can. Please keep in mind that the museum staff is comprised primarily of geology students who may or may not have a lot of experience with identifications just yet.

We recommend emailing a photo of your unknown item to the Museum Specialist, who can forward your email to an appropriate geology faculty member for his or her expert opinion.

You can also submit photos to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources via their online rock identification form.

Yes! If you find yourself in possession of rocks/minerals/fossils/etc. which you no longer wish to keep, you can donate these items to the museum. However, please keep the following points in mind while considering making a donation:

  • We will not provide you with an appraisal of your donated items.
  • You must be able to drop off the items at Youngstown State University.
  • The museum cannot promise that your donated items will be placed on display.
  • Donated items will be used in whatever manner best benefits the museum, as decided by museum staff. This means that items you donate could be used for educational purposes in geology labs on campus and/or in hands-on activities for field trips visiting the museum.
  • All donated items become permanent property of the museum and are given without restrictions on use.
  • If the gift includes several items, the museum cannot promise to keep the items together as a unit.

If you wish to proceed with the donation process, you can contact the Museum Specialist to arrange a drop off day and time. You will be emailed a copy of the “Deed of Gift” contract to read over. Your signature on the “Deed of Gift” contract will be necessary at the time you drop off your items.

Both The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (located in Cleveland, Ohio) and The Carnegie Museum of Natural History (located in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania) have awesome geology collections. 

Many museum visitors make a day of their trip to downtown Youngstown by stopping at several area attractions and educational destinations. View a partial list of these options below. The museum is also within walking distance of a variety of dining establishments. See a list of on and off campus dining options here.

We understand that it can be difficult to get to campus during our public hours. The museum will occasionally be open on weekends for special events, such as the annual Festival of the Arts. Please check our Facebook page (@CRSMineralMuseum) where we will post any upcoming weekend openings. You can also email the Museum Specialist to try to arrange a time to visit outside of public hours, but there is no guarantee that your request can be accommodated.

The museum has received several donations of small collections from area folks over the years, but the majority of the collection was gifted by Clarence R. Smith Jr. Please read Our Story to learn more!

Yes! And please feel free to share your photos on the museum’s Facebook page (@CRSMineralMuseum).

Yes. But please note that if you enter Moser Hall from Lincoln Avenue, there are some steps to get into the building. If you enter Moser Hall from the center of campus, there are no steps into the building. If you have specific mobility issues or concerns and need additional information, please contact the Museum Specialist.

At this time, museum employment is reserved for YSU students majoring in geology or environmental science. If you fit this criteria, you can contact the Museum Specialist to inquire about availability in the schedule. The museum does not accept volunteers.

The museum does not have public hours during the summer, but if you wish to visit the museum or plan a Field Trip, you can still contact the Museum Specialist to schedule an appointment.

There are no restrooms in the museum itself, but there are men’s and women’s restrooms in the building (Moser Hall) which houses the museum.