The Museum of Palaeontology was created from the palaeontological section of the Cabinet of Natural History, whose first collection dates back to 1768. The history of the Cabinet, and in particular the paleontological collections, is linked not only to the historical events that marked the city, but also to the evolution of university teaching.
Under the direction of Giuseppe Monici, between 1840 and 1847, the first nucleus of the paleontological section was established in the Cabinet of Natural History with important purchases, such as the collection of fossil fish from the Eocene of Bolca.
Under the direction of Pellegrino Strobel (1859-1895), the reorganization phase of the paleontological section began, and in 1874 the first division of the Museum of Natural History into two separate sections took place: zoological and mineralogical-geological, derived from the division of the same chairs. In 1895, with the separation of the university chairs of mineralogy and geology, the mineralogy-geology section of the museum was divided into the Geological Museum and the Mineralogical Museum.
Under the direction of Sergio Venzo, in the second half of the 1950s, the Geological Museum was moved from the University’s headquarters to the Institute of Geology in Via D’Azeglio, changing its name to “Museo Paleontologico Parmense”


The Museo Paleontologico Parmense is currently located at the scientific-technological settlement on the University Campus, a move that took place in 1987 under the direction of Giuseppe Pelosio.
The paleontological holdings consist mainly of artifacts, especially mollusks, from the Neogene of Western Emilia, which are kept in the department’s museum rooms as important material for research.
The museum also exhibits vertebrate remains from the same area and artifacts of different ages and origins (Eocene fish from Bolca, Jurassic fish from Sohlenhofen, a Pleistocene rhinoceros skull from the Stirone Creek, and mastodons from Columbia collected by Strobel).
In 2013, the museum gave rise to the palaeontology section of the newly established Museum of Physics and Earth Sciences, which is part of the department of the same name.
Following the discontinuation of the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, the museums that belonged to it changed their names, so no longer a section but the Museum of Palaeontology’.

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