When Warren Somerville was nine years old, he found his first fossil specimen at Borenore near Orange - an event which inspired him to embark on a lifetime of collecting fossils and minerals. Over sixty years later, Warren Somerville's collection of fossils and minerals is one of the most spectacular in the world and has been donated to the people of Australia. The collection includes opalised fossils and a T. Rex skeleton.
In 2004, the 1876 public school building became home to the internationally renowned Somerville Collection, the lifetime work of Professor Warren Somerville. The beautiful historic building, designed by George Allen Mansfield, was opened in 1878 as Bathurst Public School. In 1940 the public school was relocated and the building became part of the Bathurst Technical College, which later became a TAFE campus.
Situated in Bathurst, approximately an hour from Katoomba, this unique resource has quite literally been billions of years in the making. The Museum allows visitors to explore the natural history of our planet, travelling through time in our unique fossil and mineral galleries and experiencing the wonder of ancient specimens that have been uncovered from deep within the Earth.
The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum has received national recognition as a centre of excellence in the tourism, cultural and education industries with the following awards:
2011 MAGNA Award, for Scattered Bones
Museums and Galleries Association National Awards
New South Wales State and Local Awards
2005 Local Government & Shire Association Cultural Award - Cultural Infrastructure
2008 Local Government & Shire Association Cultural Award - Managing Culture, for The Dead Bones Society
2010 IMAGinE Award - Education and Public Programs, for Scattered Bones
2011 Local Government and Shires Association Cultural Award - Programs Projects and Partnerships, for Scattered Bones
2009 Carillon Business Award – Tourism and Hospitality
2011 WHK Carillon Business Award – Tourism
Bottom Image: Knox & Tanner Pty Ltd Bathurst Public School. 1906. Courtesy Bathurst Regional Council/Bathurst Library