The history of the Geology Section in the Chennai Museum is indeed quite interesting, since it was started only with the Geological Collections in the year 1851 AD. In the year 1828 AD, the Madras Literacy Society, a branch of the Asiatic Society of London, desired to have a Museum of Economic Geology at Madras and began collecting geological specimens. But lack of funds and space for an effective Museum, the Society addressed the then Madras Government to take the initiative in the formation of the Museum.

In 1843 AD, Major General W. Cullen suggested to the Government the starting of local Museum for helping those who are interested in minerals and encouraging agriculture and processes improvement. On the basis of the letters of General Cullen and the Secretary, Madras Literary Society, the Court of Directors of the East India Company agreed, in 1846 AD, to the formation of Central Museum in Madras.

In 1850 AD, Assistant Surgeon, Edward Green Balfour, Medical Officer of the Governor's Bodyguard and Assay Master offered his services as Officer-in-charge of the proposed Museum and his offer was accepted in 1851 AD. The Central Museum thus began its life in the upper storey of the College of Fort. St. George with 1100 geological collections. Due to overcrowding of the rooms and more so owing to damage to the upper storey of the college by the weight of the cases, the museum was shifted to the Pantheon, in 1854AD, which was then occupied by the Cutchery of the Collector of Madras.

Thus, beginning as a Museum of Practical Geology, its scope was later expanded to cover all the allied fields such as General Geology, Petrology, Mineralogy, Paleontology and Economic Geology. Since then, the geological galleries have been considerably improved, reorganized and modernized.

The Geology Gallery building repaired and the gallery has completely refurbished in 2006.

II. Activities in the Geology Section
The activities of this section include the maintenance and periodical re-organizations of the Geological Galleries, undertaking tours for collecting geological specimens such as rocks, minerals and fossils, organizing special exhibitions on various geological subjects, conducting training programmes, arranging popular lectures etc.

III. Facilities Available 
The training course on "Importance of Geological Specimens" is regularly conducted since 1996 AD every year for the benefit of the Geology students. The Geology Section of the Museum is a treasure house for collection of various types of rocks, minerals and fossils, which is very useful for research scholars and students pertaining to geology for their research work.
The Curators of Geology Section have written popular and research articles in learned and popular journals besides guide book of the geological galleries.

IV. Educational Activities
This section loans geological specimens to various schools in Chennai for special exhibitions. Besides popular lectures by the Curator, popular lectures by eminent scholars and college professors pertaining to geology for the benefit of the general public and students are arranged.