University of Edinburgh, Natural History Collections

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The University has been collecting zoological specimens for teaching and research for over three hundred years. The early history of its collections was often turbulent and dominated by colourful and controversial individuals. The present collection, which is in fact the third, was assembled over the last hundred years and represents the entire invertebrate phyla and vertebrate classes. Although its assembly was a less eventful process than the acquisition of the first two collections, the story is just as fascinating and involves equally intriguing personalities. The Natural History Collections are one of the six University Collections registered with the Museums and Galleries Commission.

Venue Type:

Museum, Science centre

The invertebrate and vertebrate specimens are displayed within a taxonomic framework to illustrate the diversity of the Animal Kingdom. The exhibits are located in the original Museum Suite in the Ashworth Laboratories, the Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, formerly the Department of Zoology, at King's Buildings. The exhibits are open to visitors throughout the year by arrangement with the curators.

Collection details

Natural Sciences

University of Edinburgh, Natural History Collections
The Ashworth Laboratories
King's Buildings
West Mains Road



0131 650 5477


0131 667 3210

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