What We Do


Black Hills Institute of Geological Research Inc., has long been recognized as the world’s finest paleontological and earth science supply house. The Institute’s primary business is supplying professionally prepared fossils, fossil casts, and mineral specimens for research, teaching, and exhibit. Our staff have been the leaders in developing new techniques and new materials for use in fossil exploration, collection, preparation, and exhibition.


Field Work

Probably our best known field work in recent years is the excavation of several Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons including the famous SUE and STAN™. The Tyrannosaurus rex fossil skeleton STAN™ was collected, prepared and mounted by BHIGR and is now exhibited in The Museum at Black Hills Institute, located in Hill City, South Dakota. Our staff collects vertebrate and invertebrate fossils in many locations throughout the United States and the world. Field Work section…

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Institute staff are known worldwide for their excellent fossil preparation and restoration skills. In the last quarter century, dozens of amateur, professional and academic fossil collectors and preparators have been trained by our staff in using the Institute’s innovative techniques and materials. Institute collectors and preparators are experts in the preparation of both vertebrate and invertebrate fossils. Preparation section..

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Our Hill City facility houses the world’s most extensive research collection of T. rex fossil material. Dinosaur researchers from every continent come to the Institute to study this material. The Institute’s enormous fossil collection is recognized as one of the world’s finest. This collection is always available to visiting researchers. Peter Larson’s research papers on Tyrannosaurus rex and Neal Larson’s publications on ammonites are widely read and respected throughout the professional and amateur communities. The Institute’s collecting sites and laboratories are visited annually by hundreds of students, instructors, researchers, as well as the general public. Research section…

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Molding & Casting

In the past decade, Institute staff have successfully developed new methods and materials for molding fossil specimens and producing cast replicas that retain the look and feel of the original fossils. These exquisite reproductions retain such fine detail that they are often used in scientific research. Molding & Casting section…

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The Institute has created a unique, modular, freestanding method for mounting both real and cast large vertebrate skeletons. The modular method makes it possible for three or four people to assemble a full size dinosaur skeleton in just a couple of hours using simple tools. This method also allows our mounts to move through normal sized doorways and reduces crating and shipping costs tremendously. Our freestanding mounts become dynamic exhibits that truly seem alive. Mounting section…

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Displays & Services

Original fossil and cast reproductions prepared by the Institute are on display in many of the world’s major museums including the US National Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; the National Science Museum, Tokyo; the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Drumheller, Alberta; the National Museum of Natural History, Leiden, Netherlands; and the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, Wales. In addition to supplying specimens for exhibits, Institute staff provide scientific and technical consultation in fossil identification, preservation, restoration, and display. This help is given to researchers, amateur, professional and academic collectors, museum curators and exhibitors, as well as field and laboratory technicians. Displays & Services section…

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