Imperial College Rock Library

Welcome to the Rock Library

The Imperial College Rock Library is an information resource on petrology and mineralogy of rock samples based on the collections of the Department of Earth Science and Engineering and the Royal School of Mines. The Library contains detailed descriptions of the mineralogies, textures and petrology of a large number of specimens, including explanations of their petrogenesis and access to mineral and rock identification tools, for use by students, academics and industry partners. The Library also contains learning tools and activities designed to enable users to improve their skills in practical sample identification and interpretation designed to accomodate users with a wide range of experience.

Images of samples from the Rock Library may be used freely for non-profit purposes. High resolution images are available for media and publication use at competitive rates.

"Whether you are an amateur, student, academic or a professional, I hope you find the Rock Library useful in honing your identification and description skills. The Rock Library currently has around 400,000 unique users per year, a large proportion are students, academics and professionals. If you have an interesting sample you'd like to share with geologists worldwide then let us know."
Dr Matthew Genge, Director of the Rock Library

Using the Rock Library

The Rock Library contains hundreds of described samples complete with image and explanations of petrogenesis and the terminology used in petrology. The library is free to use and you do not need to be registered. If you are a student of Imperial you can log so the library can provide individual feedback on your progress. Imperial staff have access to records of all specimens in the collection.

  • Search for rocks by classification, locality, mineralogy or petrogenesis key words.
  • Browse the library by classification, or the glossary and mineral descriptions.
  • Use Activities to learn or revise.
  • To learn more about how to use the Rock Library take the tour.
  • Donate to the Rock Library

    If you find the Rock Library useful, then please consider helping us improve our service by making a donation. With your help we can do even more.

    Login to the Rock Library

    Sponsor the Rock Library

    The Rock Library welcomes sponsorship from industry to support our work. You can read more about the benefits we provide here. If you wish to discuss sponsorship please contact the Director of the Rock Library, Dr Matthew Genge (

    You do not need to login to use the Library. The login simply allows our students to track their progress.