The foundation of this collection is in the "Mineralien-Cabinett" in the time before WERNER. Some petrified plants from the Hilbersdorf New Red Sandstone and very representative samples documented in " Die Naturgeschichte der Versteinerungen", written by KNORR and WALCH 1755-1773, belong to the oldest material.
WERNER later installed his own "Conchytien-, Zoophyten- und Petrefaktensammlung" for lectures and practices, that was incorporated into the academic collection in later times.
After WERNERs death the Freiberg professors BREITHAUPT, REICH, v. COTTA, STELZNER and BECK considerably enlarged the collection by their own findings and due to their connections all over the world. Significant additions were the GUTBIER's flora from the Zwickau Carboniferous rocks (1835), KAUF's plates with animal tracks from Hildburghausen (1835), ROSSMAESSLER's herbariums (before 1848), GEINITZ's fossils out of Carboniferous, upper Permian and Cretaceous rocks (1855-1870) and DEICHMUELLER's insects out of the black slate at Weissig (1882).
Under the director SCHUMACHER, a specialization took place up to the middle of 20th century. The collections were thematically separated and the Paleontologic and the Stratigraphic Collection were established. After World War II, these collections were enlarged by the activities of MUELLER, ROSELT, TROEGER and SCHNEIDER. This was an enormous input of scientifically important materials.
The following link takes you to some photos of collector's items from the Paleontological Collection.
The exhibition provides insights into the natural system of fossils and the evolution. It shows fossils of the geologic column of all stratigraphic systems from the Precambrian to the Pleistocene. In addition, the formation of fossils is illustrated and the interplay between the geosphere and the biosphere is explained.
In our days the collections comprise about 150.000 macrofossils and more than 1 million microfossils, including the "Typen- und Originale-Sammlung". That collection contains about 9.000 specimens described in publications, as well as many type specimens. Important stratigraphic and facial rock samples were added.