Life Collections

Our Life specimens come from a variety of sources, including historic anatomy teaching collections and early expedition collections, and the research collections of eminent zoologists and amateur naturalists. With over 5 million specimens, the zoology collections are the largest in the Museum and fill several storerooms behind the scenes – what you see on display is only a tiny fraction of the entire collection. The collections are actively growing and used for scientific research, as well as supporting teaching and public engagement.










Please contact us if you have questions related to specific collections or would like to book a visit to the collections.

If you are not sure which collection manager to contact please email We also offer a free object identification service.