Protist collection

Scyphosphaera apsteinii. Scanning Electron Microscope image of an equatorial coccolith.

The Natural History Museum microbiology collection includes extant protozoan protists.

The microbiology collection of extant protozoan protists comprises mainly microscope slides but also small numbers of registered specimens in spirit, embedded in resin (i.e. as transmission electron microscope (TEM) blocks, ultrathin sections), on Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) stubs, as photographic material (35mm slides), or as cryopreserved material in the molecular collection facility.  

The Garnham collection comprises of 1,023 slides with representative specimens of over 200 species including malarial parasites and other haemosporidia of mammals, birds and reptiles with a significant number of type specimens. 

The Protozoa and ambiregnal groups (e.g. dinoflagellates), are held in the phycology collection of the algae, fungi and plants division.  

Important historical collections

  • E. Penard collection
  • Perkins collection
  • F.W. O’Connor collection
  • J.J. Lister collection
  • S.M. Marshall collection
  • McFie Bequest
  • M.M. Metcalf collection
  • D. Kellin bequest
  • J. Kane collection
  • M. Taylor collection
  • M. Jepps collection
  • E.W. Carlier collection
  • Wallich collection
  • J.W. Murray collection
  • A.M. Norman collection
  • H.B. Brady collection
  • Bayliss collection
  • H. Sandon collection
  • P.C.C. Garnham collection
  • C.M. Wenyon collection  
  • C. Dobell collection
  • M.A. Pierce collection
  • G.M. Findlay collection
  • C.G. Ogden collection
  • Wellcome Tropical Institute collection (1987, 1989)


• HMS Challenger (global oceanographic mission 1872-1876)

Looking for a specimen?

This collection is being digitised


Alan Warren

If you would like to use any specimens for research, please get in touch


Emma Sherlock

If you would like to use any specimens for research, please get in touch

Core research labs and consulting

Our research lab teams are available for complex on-site imaging and analysis of biological and geological samples.

Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.

Collections on the move

We have set out on an ambitious programme to develop a new science and digitisation centre. As we prepare for the move, access to some collections will be affected. 

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