The Jenyns herbarium of British plants, ca. 3000 specimens, is in 42 folio volumes in quarter-bound leather, as also is a volume entitled 'Plantae Bathonienses', which probably constituted the herbarium of Bath Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club.
The Broome herbarium contains ca. 6600 British and European specimens, including European exsiccatae of cryptogamic plants useful for reference purposes and probably includes a number of 'syntype', or 'paratype' specimens, especially those in Rabenhorst's Bryotheca Europaea.
Based purely on the number of specimens, Dr. T.C.G. Rich of the Botany section at the National Museum of Wales would classify the collection as 'Regionally Important'.
Specimens were collected relatively early in the history of botanical study and many specimens were collected or identified by distinguished men of the time, e.g. J.S. Henslow and C.C. Babington, Professors of Botany at Cambridge; W.H. Harvey, Professor of Botany at Dublin; J.H. Balfour, Professor of Botany at Edinburgh, and H.C. Watson.
The library also contains many of the books referred to by these collectors. This makes the herbaria very useful for historical research and the exsiccatae add to their usefulness for taxonomic research.. Other herbaria include: H.H. Rich, ca. 1320 Mediterranean and Alpine plants; Miss Magdalena Turner, ca. 1500 British and Channel Isles algae; W.C. Young, ca. 800 Wiltshire plants. Specimens are well mounted and most in very good condition. There are also a large number of unmounted and unidentified exotic ferns.
The geographical coverage is as follows: Vascular plants, ca. 10000 (Britain, Europe, Azores, some N.American; ferns also from India and China); Non-vascular, ca. 4000 (British and European mosses, liverworts, stoneworts, algae, lichens and diatoms, some exotic algae, lichens and clubmosses).
There are over 3,700 specimens in our collection of land, freshwater and marine shells. The latter include many exotic specimens, some quite rare.
They have been worked on and labelled by Charles Copp and cleaned and supplied with better storage. The Jenyns collection of British shells is still housed in his cabinet and has been cleaned and catalogued by Rear Admiral Tracy. Jenyns described several new species, and his collection includes some specimens that are scientifically important.
The collection has come from a number of sources and has yet to be fully assessed. Some material has deteriorated through past insect damage but much of the collection remains in good condition. The beetles are well represented, and Roger Vaughan (1993) considered that they would make a reasonable reference collection. He assessed the total number at 12000, including 8529 Coleoptera, 3060 Lepidoptera, with the remainder being mostly Hymenoptera. Other material includes several shelves of corals and a small collection of British Bryozoa.
Only a small remnant of a once extensive collection remains. There are 33 cases of mounted birds and mammals, and 19 unmounted birds. Specimens include about 140 birds, including 2 specimens of the extinct Passenger Pigeon, and 12 mammals. There are a number of bird and animal skulls and a quantity of horn and ivory. A collection of some 700 birds' eggs has been cleaned and supplied with better storage, but many remain unidentified. There are also 3 swiftlet nests (of bird's nest soup fame).