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. 

Nope! Walk-ins are always welcome during our public hours. If you are bringing a large group, calling ahead is always recommended to avoid potential traffic jams in our small space.

We would love to help you identify your unknown rock or mineral if we can, but please keep the following points in mind:

  • The museum staff is comprised primarily of geology undergraduate students who may not have a lot of experience with identifications just yet. 
  • There are around 6,000 different types of minerals (not to mention rocks and other geological materials); even professional mineralogists usually only specialize in a handful of minerals. 
  • Many minerals can appear very similar, even to the trained eye. The only way to identify a mineral with certainty is to perform testing in a lab.

You could also consider submitting photos to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources via their online rock identification form so that a state geologist can give you an expert opinion.

Because our storage is quite full, the museum is not accepting donations of geological materials at this time.

If you wish to make a financial donation to the museum, please contact Jill Mogg in the PAGES department by calling (330) 941-3616. Please note that the museum staff cannot accept monetary donations during your visit.

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.

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 call the museum before your visit.

At this time, museum employment is reserved for YSU students majoring in geology or environmental science. If you meet this criteria and are interested in employment, please inquire at the PAGES office in Ward Beecher Hall. 

The museum does not accept volunteers.

At this time, the museum does not offer public hours during the summer. 

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.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum distributed over 5,000 minerals to children in our community via free mineral kits so that our mission to provide Earth science education could continue even while the museum was closed to the public. At this time, the museum is not offering mineral kits (although lucky museum visitors usually walk away with a free “souvenir” if supplies are in stock).