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Stephen Hui Geological Museum, Hong Kong

Last Updated: 19th Oct 2017

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

The Stephen Hui Geological Museum, Hong Kong

While visiting Hong Kong, I went to see a brand new Geological museum at the Hong Kong University (HKU), named in honour of the late Dr Stephen Sze Fun Hui, a Hong Kong mining enginner and geologist who's geological collections formed a major part of this new museum's collections, and made possible by a generous donation from his family in his honour. The museum is located on the campus of the University of Hong Kong as part of the Department of Earth Sciences. It opened in January 2009 and is the first and only geological museum in Hong Kong.

The Stephen Hui Geological Museum

As a teaching museum, the objective of the museum is to help explain the nature and evolution of our planet, the museum is not only aimed at students of the university, but it is also regularly visited by groups of Hong Kong school-children, and is also open to the public (free of charge) on Mondays to Fridays (1pm to 6pm). Full details of opening hours and information on how to get to the museum can be found at their website:

On entering at ground-floor level, you're immediately confronted by "Pac-Man Earth", a large globe with a section sliced out to show the internal structure of the Earth.

Pac-Man Earth at the Museum

Displays on the ground-floor concentrate on tectonic processes, earthquakes and volcanoes, along with a sequence of displays on different geological time periods and the fossil record of that period, including many excellent dioramas and reconstructions. And, of course, being an Asian museum specific importance is given to items of geological significance from the asian region. Here, for example, is the display on the Chengjiang Biota, which is essentially China's version of the 'Burgess Shales' of Canada, except ten million years younger. The museum has some excellent examples of fossils from this sequence.

The Chengjiang Biota

Moving up the stairs, you can see there are real fossils embedded in the concrete stairs!

There are trilobites in the concrete!

Upstairs are displays of minerals, rocks and a nice little dinosaur-egg diorama. Here I am looking towards the dinosaur-eggs through a fake fibreglass stone archway.

Someone is investigating the dinosaur eggs

Moving on around the upper level, we get to the mineral and rock displays. Minerals are displayed in cabinets along the wall, well lit and well labelled, and rocks, economic minerals and other displays of mineral and rock properties are in free-standing cabinets.

Rocks and Minerals in the museum

The mineral collection is organized systematically based on mineral chemistry, with one major cabinet for silicate minerals, and another for non-silicates.

Here's a photo of one of these cabinets

Systematic Display

As primarily a teaching collection, the museum doesn't contain many "flashy" specimens, but concentrates on displaying a representative range of the most important minerals in good display samples. Here are some examples from the museum's displays:

Torbernite (or Metatorbernite) from Cornwall, England

Descloizite from Namibia

Azurite and Malachite from China

And, of course, of special importance are minerals from the Hong Kong region.

Wolframite from Needle Hill, Hong Kong

Pyrite from Ma On Sha, Hong Kong

Finally, I was delighted to be invited in June 2010 to give a presentation at the museum, my presentation was on the Mineral Museums of Moscow, along with a brief update. Here I am giving my talk:

Jolyon talking about at the museum

The museum is the only museum containing mineral displays in Hong Kong, and is well worth a visit if you're in town, especially as it's free of charge.

This article is linked to the following museum: The Stephen Hui Geological Museum (Hong Kong)

Article has been viewed at least 22740 times.


Nice Article ! Nice pictures ! Nice place ! Well done Jolyon !

Wayne Corwin
10th Jun 2010 12:29am
Hello Jolyon! Welcome to China! And Thanks a lot for the reporting! Nice!! Will you visit other locality in China? Enjoy your time here!

Chen Xiao Jun

XiaoJun Chen
11th Jun 2010 9:38am

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