This is a large, though under researched, collection of 20,000 specimens representing 1,940 species of mollusc. The collection is the 5th largest mollusc collection in Scotland with the majority of other collections in Scotland being significantly smaller. Henry Coates (1859-1935), President of the Perthshire Society of Natural Science and council member of the Conchological society, published a catalogue of the collection in 1925 and was a major donor in his own right.
The British land and freshwater mollusca (1,108 specimens) were collected between 1832 and 2006. There are good voucher specimens, including rarities, for Perthshire and other parts of Britain. Cited Perthshire specimens include Vertigo antivertigo, Helix aculeata, Anodonta Cygnea and Helix rufescens. The collection includes examples of freshwater pearl mussels which complement examples of Tay pearl brooches held in the applied art collection. The British marine shells total 871 specimens, with about 100 from Cornwall, 50 from Bute and 150 from the Firth of Forth. They were collected in the period 1857 to 1925.
There are 17,000 specimens in the collection of foreign land, freshwater and marine shells. Main provenances are the Andes, Guyana, New Hebrides, West Indies, Red Sea, Philippines, Eastern Seas and the Arctic.