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Our history

The Department of Animal and Plant Sciences in its present form, was established in 1988, but biology has been taught at The University of Sheffield for over a century. Across these pages you'll be able to explore our history and find out more about our collections.

The history of biology at Sheffield

Sheffield's reputation for work in Animal and Plant Sciences was established over a century ago. Discover how teachings of biology at Firth College in 1905 evolved into our department as we know it today.

Firth Court

The Alfred Denny Museum

Established in 1905, many of the specimens on show in our museum today are from the 1900s. Discover how we use the museum and how you can explore our fascinating collection, too.

Alfred Denny Museum

The herbarium collection

Discover our herbarium collection across vascular plants, bryophytes, charophytes and fungi.


The Sorby slides

Learn about our collection of Sorby slides, where mounted marine organisms on glass lantern slides can still be viewed over a century after being created.

Sorby slide