Born from the aggregation of the collections of two naturalists from Nice, Jean-Baptiste Vérany and Jean-Baptiste Barla, the Natural History Museum of Nice is today rich of more than 1 million specimens which cover the 3 areas of the natural history (botany, zoology and geology).
The botanical collection of The Natural History Museum of Nice is made up of over 300,000 items. In addition to the plants and the fungi herbaria, the Museum of Nice conserves several collections such as: the seeds collections, the fruits collections (dry and in fluids), the fungi collections (casts and in fluids) and the wood collections.
Although the oldest herbarium dates from 1789, the main botanical specimens are plants and fungi collected in the 19th et 20th centuries and are the result of acquisitions by the institution of collections of more than 30 botanists.
The most significant plants herbaria are: the Barla collection, the Montolivo collection, the Vallot collection, the Gavelle collection, the Luquet collection, the Battersby collection, the Holden collection, the Dujardin-Beaumetz collection, the Sarato collection and the Risso collection. About the mycology, the Barla and Trimbach sets are the most important.
Along with these acquired collections, the Museum of Nice always had an enriching activity due to the collections conducted by the staff and the scientific attachés of the institution. This activity is still in process today.
The botanical specimens originate from the Nice region, its close surroundings and the countries around the Mediterranean basin and the alpine region. In these main localities are added samples of more exotic origins.