An interdisciplinary investigation is presented focusing on the study of the Mining Museum collections in relation to research, educational and social practices. Natural science and artistic exhibits are considered. The authors made an attempt to determine the significance of the mineralogical collection based on the criteria proposed by I.V.Pekov. For the first time, general statistics on the new minerals in the mineralogical museums of the USSR was collected in 1988; in subsequent years, such information was not published. Collection of the Mining Museum comprises mineral species received after 1988 and having the status of holotypes, neotypes, and cotypes. In anticipation of the 250th anniversary of Saint Petersburg Mining University its special contribution to the progress of science was noted; the merits of scientists were immortalized in the names of minerals stored in the Mining Museum collection. An important role of the Museum in recording and representation of achievements of the Mining University is shown. The authors present the Mining Museum as a special educational space where an objective image of the world is created shaped by the scientific and humanitarian environment. The Museum is regarded as a space for forming the professional identity, important for the successful work of future University graduates. The interior of the Mining Museum designed and created in the 1st half of the XIX century taking into account the ideas about the succession of scientists from different epochs, respect for scientific traditions of antiquity and achievements in the field of studying the world plays a significant role in this process. Images of thinkers of the antiquity in the interiors of the educational and public spaces of the XIX century made it possible to emphasize the importance of cultural correlation with ideas of the Enlightenment. Specific examples from the collection show how the Mining Museum was implementing the scientific and educational goals of the Mining University throughout its history.