Special Collections

Rare Book Collection

The Rare book collection includes titles such as:

  • Voyages of the HMS Challenger Series
  • Hans Sloane’s Volumes: A Voyage of the Inlands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, St. Christophers and Jamaica with the natural history…
  • Sloane’s Jamaica plate
  • Patrick Browne’s The Civil and Natural History of Jamaica in Three Parts…


The Science Library is the repository of many paintings and drawings of fruits, flowers, birds, plants and animals from various collectors. Some of these collectors are Mr. H.Q. Levy, Helen Adelaide Wood and Miss Lily Perkins.

H.Q. Levy Collection
He was one of Jamaica’s leading orchid growers and painted not only several orchid varieties but also many other varieties of Jamaican fruits and flowers. Some of the fruits painted are Breadfruit (Artocarpus incisa), Pawpaw (Carica Papaya), Mango (Mangifera indica – No.11), Coffee (coffee arabica), Akee (Gupania edulis) and “Ugli” Orange (originally called “Harry” orange).

Helen Adelaide Wood Collection
She was employed in July 1912 as a member of the Botany Department at the Institute of Jamaica. During her 15-year tenure at the Institute of Jamaica, she prepared many watercolour paintings of various flowers and birds.

Miss Lily Perkins Collection
She began drawing plants and animals as school girl and eventually became proficient in watercolours. Much of her finest work was done in the 1930’s and 1940’s. In 1985, when she was approaching 95 years of age, she offered to present her paintings and manuscripts to the Natural History Museum of Jamaica. The Natural History Museum of Jamaica was very happy to receive this gift and upon viewing her works, it is obvious why her paintings are regarded as part of its treasures.


This collection consists of an assortment of photographs from a wide cross-section of plants, insects, birds, animals, fishes, flora and fauna, various sceneries such as landslides, land erosion, hillside farming, deforestation, and damaged coral reefs due to bad fishing practices.

The Anthony Robinson Manuscript

The manuscript is consisted of two indexes, three note books and approximately 200 drawings.  The indexes are related to the notebooks and gives you a guide to what each notebook holds. Notebook, vol. 2 consists of information on plants and animals. Notebook, vol. 4 consists of information on quadrupesos, reptiles, insects, fishes, shellfish, marine animals and the climate.  Notebook, vol. 5 consists of information on plants and plants that were omitted.

They include a wealth of information about Jamaican plants and animals, some now extinct. There is also information about the people he met on his collecting trips. There are drawings of plants some in coloured and otherwise.