The collection of fossil plants made by Professor Sahni from India and abroad, including those received by him as gift or in exchange, structured the beginning of Institute’s museum. The repository of the museum has continuously been enriched through collections made by scientists of the Institute during their fieldwork all over the country, and also by the receipt in exchange of material from foreign countries. The Holotype specimens, slides and figured specimens are systematically stored by the museum that is readily available for the investigation to the research workers.
The fossil specimens are also freely gifted to the university and college departments of botany and geology, for teaching and demonstration purposes. The present position of Type and figured specimens is as under.
Type and figured specimens 6679
Type and figured Slides 12740 Negatives 17504
The museum is housed in spacious halls in which the exhibits are arranged and displayed in order to illustrate various aspects of palaeobotany, from a generalized and geological point of view. In the museum, the Foundation Stone of the Institute, casted by Professor Birbal Sahni himself, is unique in its own right. It comprises fossils of different geological ages and collected from several countries, embedded in a marble grit-cement block. A ‘Geological Time Clock’ is another and one of the special attractions of the museum, in which the geological time is contracted within 24 hours. The clock communicates the evolution of life on earth as the day progresses from mid-night, and depicts the gradual events of evolution up to the advent of man, within the stipulated time-scale of 24 hours.