The Collection Database

It was long thought that the local Kimmeridgian clays had little to yield by way of evidence via well-preserved fossils. A belief that was changed by the amazing discoveries of Steve Etches, local to Kimmeridge, fossil collector and expert who over the last 30 years, has discovered, collected and researched over 2000 incredible late Jurassic Kimmeridgian specimens.

An achievement that has resulted in a collection of the most extensive and finest fossil specimens ever found in the Kimmeridgian Clay Formation.

Many of the species Steve has discovered are new to science and are of great palaeontological importance. Each find has been perfectly curated, providing an immaculate record that reveals every aspect and tells the stories of these incredible creatures from deep time, how they bred, how they lived and died.

The collection enjoys great patronage and endorsements from palaeontologists, geologists and scientists in recognition of the superior status of the collection and its collector. The Palaeontological Association awarded The Mary Anning Prize to Steve in 1993 and 2005. The Geological Society of London awarded the R.H. Worth Prize in 1994 and The Geologists’ Association The Halstead Medal. In June 2014 Steve was awarded the MBE for services to palaeontology. Such recognition is testament to the importance of the collection and the dedication and scientific contributions made by an amateur palaeontologist.

The Etches Collection – Museum Donations


Donation Policy


The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life specialises in the flora and fauna of the Kimmeridgian period and Kimmeridgian Clays of the Late Jurassic.  The museum welcomes donations of fossils from this period or other fossil/geological specimens if they are deemed to be useful in enhancing the collection.  The acceptance or refusal of any specimen is partly based on the potential educational value of the item as well as the current storage capacity of the Museum and exhibition.   The museum reserves the right to reject, prior to delivery and to dispose of, after delivery, any materials deemed no longer appropriate for the collections or if the Museum already has a sufficient quantity of a specimen or material from a certain location.


Gift Restrictions


The Etches Collection does not accept specimens or materials with stipulations, restrictions or specific conditions attached. 


Donation Procedure

Should you wish to donate any specimen to the Museum, please contact our Registrar via or call the museum on 01929 270000 prior to bringing in your intended donation.  Our Front of House staff may not be able to receive you or your objects if you have not already arranged an appraisal meeting in advance. 


If your specimen(s) meet the current collection criteria then it may be integrated into the Museums permanent collection.  It will be catalogued in line with our Collections Policy.  If your specimen is determined to be of non-display quality then it will be added to the Museums educational collection which we use to teach students and the general public through hands on learning.  We do also accept donations of suitable fossil or mineral material for sale within our shop, the sales of which are reinvested into the sustainability of the museum. 


Once your donation has been accepted and approved, a Deed of Gift form will need to be completed by the donor and the Registrar and will be held on file.

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