Pioneer Museum

Natural History Collection

Natural History Collection

In 2010 the collection of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum, previously maintained by the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources (ADMMR), was transferred to the Arizona Historical Society (Arizona Revised Statutes §41-827). The collection now makes up the majority of the Arizona Historical Society Natural History Collection.

The Natural History Collection is a permanent collection with materials pertaining to the natural history of Arizona and the mining industry in Arizona. The Collection also includes mining and mineral related books, journals, magazines, and historical documents related to the history of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum.

Search the Online Natural History Collection Database

Photo Galleries


Where is the collection on display?
Specimens from the Natural History Collection are on display at the AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park in Tempe.

Can I schedule a tour to see the Natural History Collection?
Yes! School tours and adult group visits are available at our AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park. To schedule, please contact Dawn Nave at

Do you still offer rocks and minerals classroom kits for teachers?
Yes! Contact our Natural History Curator at

Can you identify or appraise a specimen for me?
Unfortunately, we do not offer identification or appraisal services.

Do you take donations?
Yes! View our Natural History Collection Donation Guide and Donor Questionnaire.

Are the collections available for scientific research?
Yes! Please complete the Collections Access Request Form.

Are there any Mining related archival collections at the Arizona Historical Society?
Yes! The AHS Library and Archives Division is home to manuscript collections, photographic collections, oral history collections, and ephemera collections. These collections are supplemented by over 30,000 books, 20,000 architectural drawings, 4,000 maps, 1,000 reels of microfilm, in addition to thousands of items or radio, television and film media.

Notable AHS Mining Archival Collections

H. Mason Coggin Mining Collection (1880s – 1999)
FM MSS #126
This collection highlights the career and research of H. Mason Coggin, a professional engineer and land surveyor and expert in gold placer mining. This collection may be the most comprehensive contemporary mining collection available.

Orrell Mining Collection (1880 – 1999)
FM MSS #133
This collection contains records on various mining projects and research done by F. Lewis Orrell. The collection focuses on primarily tungsten, copper and calcite mining. Orrell traces the history of mining companies such as the Arizona & Michigan Mining Company and the Superior & Boston Copper Company.

View Quick Guide to Arizona Mining Archival Collections

Where can I find technical information and maps from the Department of Mines and Mineral Resources?
Technical documents, maps, and the ADMMR photo collection were transferred to the Arizona Geological Survey.
AZGS Phoenix Branch – (602)771-1601
AZGS Headquarters (Tucson) – (520)770-3500
AZGS Email –
AZGS USGIN (Geoscience Information Network) –