History of the Geological Collections:
From its beginnings, the Geological Survey had difficulty finding space for work and specimen storage. The first specimens were housed in the Old State Library and the Albany Institute (1836 – 1840). In 1840, three rooms in the Old State Hall were made available, and the first specimens were put on public display in 1845.
In 1857, the State Cabinet took up residence in Geological and Agriculture Hall. This building became the first to house the New York State Museum. In 1883, The State Legislature authorized the museum to move from the Geological and Agricultural Hall to the new State Hall. By 1909, the collections were being kept in seven separate buildings, including an old malt house and an unused railroad station. Fearful of loss or damage to these collections, Director John Clarke fought hard to obtain a new State Museum building. As a result, space was allotted in the new Education Building which began construction in 1910.
The planned move was not accomplished before disaster struck. In 1911, a fire in the State Capitol destroyed many valuable geological specimens as well as much the State Library. In 1912, the entire Museum collection was moved to the fourth and fifth floors of the State Education building, but as before, the allotted space was filled immediately.
In 1979, the State Museum and its collections were moved into the newly constructed Cultural Education Center of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza. This new Museum is now filled with the scientific collections and, as so many times before, needs additional storage space. At present, a large portion of the rock core collection is stored in a warehouse north west of Albany.