Mineral Museum — Facilities
In 2015, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology moved to a new, three-story, 85,000 sq. foot facility named the Headen Center. The Mineral Museum and Publications Store can be found on the first floor atrium, where large minerals and ‘touch and feel’ specimens are aesthetically displayed.
Mineral exhibits in the museum concentrate mainly on New Mexico, but also include specimens from around the world. Minerals from eight important New Mexico mining districts and areas (Organ, Santa Rita and Tyrone, Fierro-Hanover, Hansonburg, Magdalena, Old and New Placers, NM Pegmatites, and NM Uranium districts) highlight important minerals from each location.
Other featured displays include minerals from:
- Southwest US (exclusive of NM)
- United States (exclusive of the southwest)
- Asia & Australia
- Europe & Africa
- Americas (South, Central, & Canada)
Additional displays include:
- New Acquisitions
- Meteorites & Associated Phenomena
- New Mexico Gold & Silver
- Dana Systematic Classification
- New Mexico Agates & Geodes
- Petrified Wood
- Guest Collections
- UV Fluorescent Minerals
All casework in the new facility is composed of glass, stainless steel, painted maple, and white oak. Four standup cases dominate the interior, with smaller cases lining the outer walls of the gallery. The ultraviolet collection lies behind the Dana reference collection in a small, walk-through hallway without any doors or shades. Lighting for the cases consists of full-spectrum LEDs. The cases can accommodate additional lighting, with additional electrical hookup built in. An open area spans the middle of the gallery to accommodate additional displays for the future. Sales cases are maintained in the entry so that the visitor may bring a mineral treasure home. All proceeds from mineral sales & monetary donations are used for the purchase of new museum material.
In addition to the displays, the museum offers a large reference collection for scientific use. The reference collection is housed on the museum’s second floor and is available to all interested persons (an appointment should be made with the museum director before its use). The museum also has two lab facilities: 1) A "dirty" lab contains saws, polishers, a fume hood, and rock crushing/splitting equipment, and 2) a "clean" lab that houses petrographic microscopes, photographic equipment, and other preparation materials. The museum also offers traveling exhibits and its personnel provide educational programs to amateurs and professionals alike.
Download the manual in PDF Format (revised December, 2022)
The Mineral Museum has over 15,000 visitors a year, many visitors are part of school groups. To schedule a formal visit (with guide), please contact Cynthia Connolly at (575) 835-5624. You are welcome to visit on your own. We have prepared a Visitor's Tour for you to use. This guide includes much of the information presented to you on a formal tour.
Minerals are a gateway to a love of science!
A classroom, located on the second floor of the museum, is used for outreach events and educational demonstrations. Students can learn about fossils, mineral products, rocks, and topographic maps using an interactive topographic sandbox. Reservations to use the classroom must be made in advance (contact Cynthia Connolly for more information).