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There are an estimated 70,000 specimens in the natural history collections covering the main science areas of:

  • Botany - including flowering plants, ferns and lichens

  • Geology - rocks, minerals and fossils

  • Zoology - including birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians, insects, shells and corals

The collections include specimens that range from tiny insects to large mammals and date from the Precambrian era more than 540 million years ago to present.

They have a global geography, but many of them have a strong emphasis on the British Isles and a large proportion of the moth, plant and carboniferous fossil collections have a local, west, central Scotland focus.

Notable collections include:

Morris Young insect collection - Morris Young (1822 – 1897) being the first curator of Paisley Museum and a respected specialist in beetles.

Scottish Devonian fish fossils with specimens linked to notable collectors including Scotland’s pre-eminent geologist Hugh Miller.

Carboniferous fossils – with Paisley’s location in the coal-bearing Central Lowlands of Scotland it’s not surprising that Carboniferous fossils make up a large portion of the fossil collection.

Renfrewshire Moth collections – a significant collection of local origin, dating from the early 1900 to the 1980s.

And of course, Buddie the lion, who came into the museum in 1929 and has been a favourite in the museum for over 90 years.

For more information on our Natural History collection, please contact our Natural History Curator Nicola MacIntyre 

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