Paleontological collections were formed after the establishment of the Provincial Museum in 1821. They contain paleontological material from Slovenia and from Yugoslavia, only a few from other countries. The main palaeontological collection is still active and regularly updated.
Robič's collection of fossils
Simon Robic (1824 -1897) was a wide angle naturalist. He was a priest, his enthusiasm for natural science began at his youth while he was still studying. He collected butterflies, beetles, snails, mosses, lichens and fossils. Our collections contain the first fossils found in 1850 by Simon Robič. On his arrival at Šenturška gora, he was very unterested in fossills. He visited many fossil sites around Kamnik. Robič collection of fossils has over a thousand of specimens.
Geological collection of Anton Bianchi (paleontological part)
The collection has about two hundred specimens of fossils. They are all carefully labeled and documented. A lot of them were gathered during his research in the area of Ajdovščina and especially in the Vipava Valley and the Karst. Many of the fossils in the collection were replaced or bought as many of them came from Germany, Poland and other countries.
Osteology collection (Pleistocene and Holocene bone remains)
Collection was donated in 2006 and in 2008 by Department of Geology Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Ljubljana. The collection includes many specimens of classical paleontological (and Paleolithic) deposits: Betalov spodmol, Črni Kal,Parska golobina and others.
Collection of Permian fossils
In 2001 the museum gained a new collection of fossils from the Permian deposits in Karavanke, which contains more than a thousand specimens of brachiopods, sea lilies, snails, clams, bryozoans, corals and others. The holotypes of certain types of trilobites that were detected mostly in the area of Jesenice are of great importance.
Palaeontological collection Hitij & Žalohar (active paleontological collection)
The museum cooperates with many collectors. The result of such cooperation is an exceptional and unique paleontological collection, which was created by Jure Žalohar, Ph.D., and Tomaž Hitij. Both collectors regularly publish the results (among them some new species for example the oldest fossil seahorses in the world).
Zois' mineral collection
Zois' mineral collection is one of the oldest, most beautiful and culturally important collections, comprising approximately 5,000 specimens of minerals and rocks. Only 306 specimens are exhibited, others are in the depot. The collection is not only important because of its beauty and diversity, but also because it was the foundation of the first museum in Slovenia, opened in 1831 (the Provincial Museum).
How Zois (the original owner and founder of collections) had initially classified minerals, is not known. But certainly he used later the classification of Werner distribution of minerals. There are also some rocks and fossils in the collextion. The minerals are from different parts of central and western Europe, many of them came from Scandinavia, Transylvania and Italy and some came also from non-European country.
Zois' mineral collection - permanent exhibition
Minerals from permanent exhibition are classified according to today's classification, because it is currently the only exhibited mineral collection. It was renewed in 1988, the centenary of the museum building on Prešernova street. Author 's layout is a longtime curator of Mineralogy and petrology Dr . Ernest Faninger. He also wrote a booklet Zois mineral collection.
In addition to the fourteen cases filled with minerals there ale also five panels. They inform us about the history of the museum , Zois family and Zois' collection.
The bronze bust of Ziga Zois complements the exhibition. It is the work of academic sculptor Dora Novšak and was discovered by the 150th anniversary of the museum in 1971.
Zois (1747-1819), educated eironworker, the central figure of the Slovenian Enlightenment in better known as a naturalist, especially mineralogist. He was good in mineralogy, chemistry, metallurgy and mining, as well as in botany and zoology. Among the correspondents was Abraham Gottlob Werner, professor of mineralogy at the Mining College in Freiberg, Martin Heinrich Klaproth, a professor of chemistry at the University of Berlin, Peter Jordan, a professor of natural sciences at the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna, and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs, known for introduction of the hardness scales in mineralogy. How respected Žiga Zois was between contemporaries wee cpuld see from awards by renowned institutions: Gesellschaft naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin (1782), Imperialis Leopoldino-Carolina Academia Naturae Curiosum, Erlangen (1793), Academie Celtique, Paris (1806), Jenaer herzoglich = mineralogische Sozietät (1807), Wetterau'sche Gesellschaft für Naturkunde zu Hanau (1808). Mineral zoisite was named after him. He also received a high state decoration, the Commander's Cross Order of Leopold (1809). He wushed Carniola gets its own provincial museum and soon after his death, the Zois mineral collection became the foundation stone of Provincial Museum in Ljubljana, founded in 1821.
When the mineral dealer Simon Prešern in 1804 provided Zois material with Svinška planina, Zois recognized a new, until then unknown mineral. His prediction was confirmed by A. G. Werner and M. H. Klaproth. In 1805 A. G. Werner in agreement with M. H. Klaprot and D. G. L. Karsten named this mineral zoisite. Today it is clear where this first samples of zoisite were picked up. On the western slope of the Svinška planina is the exact location named Prickler Halt. In the forest the abandoned excavation caves were found. Zoisite is very common mineral in regional metamorphosed rocks, but mostly in fine-grained aggregates. Reddish type of zoisite is called thulit. Bluish zoisite crystals, which are found in Tanzania, are called tanzanite and are valuable precious stones.