The Musée de Minéralogie (museum of mineralogy) was established in 1794 by one of the most prominent French engineering schools and it is stated to have one of the ten largest mineral collections in the world. It contains about 100 000 samples, including 80 000 minerals, 15000 rocks, 4000 ores, 400 meteorites, 700 gems, and 300 artificial minerals.
The museum is operated by Mines ParisTech (École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris, a prestigious member of the Paris Institute of Technology); the school was established in 1783, and the museum itself in 1794 as a ‘Cabinet of Mineralogy’ containing ‘all production in the world and all productions of the Republic, arranged by locality’.
The museum was quickly augmented by private collections, sometimes seized by the state. Many fine additions were made in a short period of time, and by 1814 the museum contained about 100,000 samples, which were housed at the Hotel de Mouchy. During the 19th century and the early 20th century the museum continued to acquire excellent collections from around the world. The acqusitions were interrupted by World War II, but then were resumed.