The modern bryozoan collection dates mainly from around 1842 onwards, although there are a few herbarium specimens from circa 1700 and some earlier material in the Sloane Herbarium.
The collection is split up into five major taxonomic groups:
A specialist library of supporting material enhances the value of the collection.
One of the earliest specimens in the collection, collected by apothecary Samuel Dale (1659-1739). It is an example of the common bryozoan Flustra foliacea.
All major recent bryozoan classes are covered: Gymnolaemata, Stenolaemata and Phylactolaemata (freshwater).
The collection covers all continents, including the Antarctic.
The collection has good British, European, Asiatic, Antarctic and Australasian collections. Material from Arctic Russia, China, USA and South America is poorly represented.
Visitors from around the world use the collections for research projects such as:
There is one small shelf of bryozoans in the Marine Invertebrates Gallery of the Museum.