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The Royal School of Mines was established in 1851, as the Government School of Mines and Science Applied to the Arts.
The School developed from the Museum of Economic Geology, a collection of minerals, maps and mining equipment made by Sir Henry De la Beche, and opened in 1841. The Museum also provided some student places for the study of mineralogy and metallurgy. Sir Henry was the director of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, and when the collections outgrew the premises the Museum and the Survey were placed on an official footing, with Government assistance.
The Museum of Practical Geology and the Government School of Mines Applied to the Arts opened in a purpose designed building in Jermyn Street in 1851. The officers of the Geological Survey became the lecturers and professors of the School of Mines.
The Royal College of Chemistry was merged into it in 1853.
The name was changed in 1863 to the Royal School of Mines, and was moved to South Kensington in 1872, leaving the Museum of Practical Geology behind in Jermyn Street.
In 1907, the RSM was incorporated into Imperial College of Science and Technology, but remains a "Constituent College" of Imperial. The last Dean of the Royal School of Mines was Professor John Monhemius before the position was removed.
Today, the RSM no longer exists as an academic entity. The RSM is both the building in which the departments are housed, and the student body that organises social events, sports teams, clubs and societies for students within those departments.