Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery cares for over 150,000 natural history specimens. These include an estimated 90,000 insects, 10,000 minerals, 10,000 plants, 3,000 jars of wet-preserved specimens, plus hundreds of birds, mammals, eggs, shell, corals, skeletons, fossils and rocks. Many of these collections are important due to their age, associated information and the personal histories of the collectors. The Museum also has a historic natural history library and archive.
Take a closer look at some of the highlights in our collections.
The Museum holds some 10,000 minerals, largely assembled by a few avid collectors, all closely linked with Plymouth and the South West.
An important 18th century collection, which includes a mineral collection and a herbarium (pressed plant collection).
Pressed plant collections enable the study of botany. The collection contains mid-1700s to present day specimens from Devon and the surrounding area.
Over 90,000 insect specimens, most collected in and around Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall by local collectors J.H. Keys and G.C. Bignell.
A significant collection of wet preserved, or 'pickled', specimens. A large number have been collected in Plymouth Sound.
The bird collection contains some 800 specimens, mainly local 19th century specimens, representing more than 220 British species.
A family-friendly natural history group. See our upcoming events in the Plymouth area.
Follow our Curator of Natural History, Jan Freedman, as he writes about our Wild About Plymouth events. Find out more about our natural history adventures, what we explored and saw.