The Gillespie Museum has more than 15,000 rock and mineral specimens in its collection, of which only a portion are on permanent display. Stored specimens are revealed through rotating exhibits that change either per semester or annually. The museum also has much to offer beyond rocks and minerals, with exciting new exhibits throughout the academic year representing a diversity of topics which often blur the line between art and science.
(For a complete listing of the museum's online educational resources, including selected exhibit materials, see our Educational Resources Page, or download this comprehensive Overview of Gillespie Museum Online Resources.)
Florida Formations is a recent installation in our Florida Gallery that tells the geologic history of the state through its distinctive rock units, an array of ocean-formed carbonate formations, each with a story to tell us about past environments and past climates. View associated Florida fossils, agatized coral (the state stone of Florida), calcite crystals and more, in this exciting permanent addition to the Gillespie Museum experience.
This small, ongoing exhibit was inspired by Stetson alum Nicholas Pearson's book The Seven Archetypal Stones, which explores some of the lessons — geological, historic, cultural and spiritual — of the mineral world. The display specimens and a guided walk through the museum's collections tell a few stories about these seven captivating stones.
Past Exhibits Archive
Florida Stewards was the Spring 2020 inaugural exhibit in the Gillespie's new Environmental Gallery of the Rinker Environmental Learning Center, adjacent to the museum. Environmental educator and conservation photographer Dustin Angell highlights the people working to protect the wildlands and wildlife of Florida in stunning images that document the science and conservation challenges of the region by showing the people trying to solve them.
The Fall 2019 - Spring 2020 exhibit Agatized Coral and Other Silicified Fossils continued our exploration into Florida's unique geology. Featuring Florida's state stone, this was a diverse and stunning assemblage drawn from the personal collections of experienced Florida geologists Sam Upchurch and Gary Maddox. The display provided a unique opportunity to view an array of rare agatized and silicified corals, and other silicified fossils, and to learn about the local origins, formation and distribution of these natural wonders.
This Spring 2019 exhibit ran from February 21 to May 3, 2019, and featured a sample of some of Florida's most striking and rare calcite specimens from the personal collection of Tom Scott, PhD, Emeritus Geologist, Florida Geological Survey. Florida Calcite provided a unique opportunity to view uncommon specimens of our state's unofficial mineral, calcite, including a range of speleothems (cave-formed structures), such as stalactites, cave pearls, helictites, and cave flowers from world-renowned Florida calcite collecting localities.
Visual artist Jessica Rath, with collaborator Robert Hoehn (composer and sound designer), created an immersive, human-scaled, multisensory experience using sculptural forms, light and sound to explore how bumblebees learn and remember floral symbols to find better nectar. Co-hosted by the Gillespie Museum and the Hand Art Center, a better nectar ran from January 26 through March 3, 2018.
Aquatic Gems was a small exhibit featuring some perspectives on H2O which was in our Florida Gallery from September 24, 2016, through May 5, 2017. Robert Sitler (professor, Modern Languages) provided a video tour of a variety of sites in our watershed; Kirsten Work (professor, Biology) offered a study of spring snails.
Over 300 images, taken by Stetson University Professor Peter May (biology), Sandhill Symphony introduced visitors to the flora and fauna of this vanishing ecosystem. View Peter's blog and online gallery Volusia Naturalist, featuring a sampling of his photos, representative of the September 26, 2015, to May 4, 2016, exhibit.
A Passion for Collecting: The Legacy of T.B. and Nellie Gillespie
Learn about T.B. and Nellie Gillespie's life-long love for mineral collecting and how their hobby led to the eventual creation of the Gillespie Museum. This exhibit included historical documents and pictures, many minerals from the historic collection, a timeline depicting the museum from birth to present day and much more! View informational exhibit handout.
The Gillespie Museum celebrated its 60th Anniversary in the fall of 2018, with a collection of "postcards" that told the museum's story through photographs and pages from the archives. The 60th Anniversary Slideshow compiles the exhibit images to highlight the people and history behind this unique place and the evolution of the Gillespie Museum mission.