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Current Exhibits

Colburn’s exhibits present high quality information with hands-on displays and knowledgeable staff to answer!


SeeExhibitionThe Colburn Earth Science Museum loves art and all the local artist’s work. And  we look for ways to support the arts in anyway we can. Currently, we are looking for our next Featured Artist! Do you or someone you know has Earth Science inspired work  that  you would love to display to the public?


Contact Natalie at ngrinnell@colburnmuseum.org for more details.

Fossils of the Deep

Check out undersea wonders. Learn about vertebrates and invertebrates and how they coexist within the same environment. Fossils are gateways for scientists to discover more about our past and present. Explore the treasures of the deep with this new exhibit.

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Hall of Minerals

The Hall of Minerals features many items from the Colburn Earth Science Museum’s primary collection of more than 4,500 specimens, including  examples of the more than 350 minerals found in North Carolina. Kyanite, quartz, corundum, beryl, mica, feldspar and itacolumite, the bending rock are among the many specimens in this exhibit.img_2925


A model of the inside of a volcano for visitors to touch and learn about volcanoes, earthquakes, and plate tectonics!

Grove Stone Earth Center

Displays in the Grove Stone Room explore the geology of North Carolina and the world. The exhibits cover volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics and general geologic processes, including those that formed the mountains of Western North Carolina.



An antique miner’s hat with carbide lamp. Just one of many amazing artifacts we have in our “History of Mining” Exhibit!

History of Mining in North Carolina

This exhibit chronicles mining activity in North Carolina, including the activities of  Native Americans, Spanish explorers and 20th-century Western North Carolinians. Displays showcase North Carolina’’s role as the first major producer of gold in the United States, commercial mining, and the variety of gemstones found in North Carolina. The exhibit also has a replica of a gem mine, complete with a simulated dynamite charge and gem pockets.



Gemstone Gallery

The Museum’s gem collection includes more than 1,000 cut gemstones from around the world and specimens from North Carolina. Garnet, morganite, diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire, hiddenite, stibiotantalite, tourmaline and topaz are just some of the breathtaking gemstones on display.

img_3039Climate, Weather and YOU!

Visitors can explore meteorology and climatology through this exhibit. Learn about weather events and patterns in Western North Carolina and the Southeastern United States, and practice giving a weather report on TV at the Colburn.