The Museum holds a number of important and diverse collections from around the world, including:
- Frederick Smith (1805 - 1879) One of the first entomology curators at the Natural History Museum (then the British Museum), specialising in Hymenoptera, describing many species in his seminal work, 'Catalogue of Hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum'.
- Rothschild, N. Charles (1877 – 1923) Of the famous banking family, devoted much of his time to entomology, both collecting himself and acquiring collections for the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum at Tring, now part of the Natural History Museum.
- Rowland Turner (-1945) Extensive collections from South Africa and Australia in the early 20th century.
- Friedrich (Fritz) Plaumann (1902 - 1994) An extraordinarily productive collector of Brazilian Hymenoptera.
- Kenneth Mackinnon Guichard (1914-2002) Prolific collector and student of apoid wasps, particularly Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, renowned for the quality of his specimens.
- Ian Gauld (1947-2009) Together with collaborators including Kevin Gaston, Paul Hanson and Dan Janzen, instigated intensive collecting of the ichneumonid fauna of a tropical country, Costa Rica. The collections that have resulted are the basis of several large taxonomic monographs.
Historic 18th century Hymenoptera, including types of JC Fabricius, are included in the Joseph Banks collection. This is stored separately with the historic entomology collections.