There has been a Natural History museum in the University
of Edinburgh for just over three hundred years. During this
time the successive collections have been split up by
authorities and fought over by individuals.
traces the period from 1697, when the first collection as
such was established, through 1855 when the second collection formed
the basis of a new national museum, to 1876 when a growing
conflict between the museum authorities and the University
led to a major split between the two bodies.
This split led to the establishment of two separate collections.
One was governed by the Museum Council in the building which is now
the Royal Museum in Chambers Street in Edinburgh.
The other collection, essentially the University's third Natural
History Collection was originally kept in Old College, South Bridge.
It is now housed in the Ashworth Laboratories in the Institute of Cell,
Animal and Population Biology (formerly the Zoology Department) at
King's Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh.