Earth Sciences

The mineral collection contains more than 17,000 samples, representing about 1,000 different mineral species.

Most of the specimens come from Central Africa, particularly from the DR Congo and Rwanda. Most of the deposits and minerals that are known for this region are represented in the collection.

The collection includes a large number of specimens of copper and cobalt minerals (sulphides, carbonates, silicates, phosphates, etc.), originating from mining areas along the full length of the Katanga Copperbelt, extending from Lubumbashi to Kolwezi. 

An extensive reference collection is also available for tin, tantalum and tungsten deposits from northern Katanga, Maniema, Kivu and Rwanda, represented by specimens of cassiterite, columbite-tantalite and ferberite from various localities.

Other examples of large specimen series include pegmatitic phosphates from Rwanda, rare earth minerals from Burundi, minerals from volcanic deposits of Kivu and Rwanda, and copper and vanadium minerals from the western part of the DRC.

In total, the collection contains about 50 type specimens

New specimens are still frequently added to the collection, through donations, exchanges and fieldwork.

> Mineral collection database

Manager & contact:
Florias Mees
+32 2 769 57 42



The rock collection contains about 180,000 specimens.

It mostly comprises surface samples, but also large series of drill core samples

The specimens mostly come from Central Africa and represent numerous locations, geological formations and rock types. 

Surface samples are specimens collected from outcrops: along rivers, roads and hillsides, and in quarries and mines. The material was collected during historical expeditions, ore prospection campaigns, geological mapping, and regional geological research carried out by mining companies, universities and institutions, including the Royal Museum for Central Africa.

The drill cores were obtained during prospecting for various natural resources (copper, gold, coal). Two important cores (Samba and Dekese) each have a total length of approximately 2km and were drilled in the 1950s while searching for hydrocarbon reserves in the Congo Basin.

Manager & contact:
Florias Mees
+32 2 769 57 42



The collection has more than 18,000 specimens from Central Africa, collected through fieldwork or acquired through donations.

The collection is very diverse in terms of types of specimen (from the remains of large reptiles to microscopic skeletons of unicellular organisms) and in terms of age (approximately 650 million years to a few thousand years old).

Examples of large specimen series include:

  • stromatolites from the Neoproterozoic (Lower Congo, Katanga, Kasaï)
  • plant fossils from the Carboniferous-Permian (Katanga)
  • fish fossils from the Jurassic-Cretaceous of the Congo Basin
  • a diverse fauna from the Cretaceous-Cenozoic of the Atlantic coastal region (Lower Congo, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon).

The collection contains several type specimens.

Manager & contact:
Florias Mees
+32 2 769 57 42


Maps and aerial photographs

The collection comprises more than 20,000 maps, mainly of Africa and particularly Central Africa. Many are geological maps, but administrative maps and other thematic maps are also part of the collection.

The collection also contains more than 200,000 aerial photographs dating from the middle of the 20th century. They were used to produce maps of the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi. Most are only available in paper format. 

Examples of available documents include :

  • Planimetric maps of the DRC
  • Geological maps of Africa (whether or not published by the RMCA)
  • Aerial photographs of the DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

Reproduction and sales are possible. For orders:

Consultation: by appointment, every day except Wednesday, 9:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 16:00.

> Rules of access to the library, map collection and archives (pdf, 152 Kb)

Mohamed Laghmouch
+32 2 769 54 50

Evelyne Gillles
+32 2 769 54 34 / +32 2 769 5461