- The Library


D.E. Coombe Collection

A collection of the papers and correspondence of David Edwin Coombe (1927-1999), botanical ecologist.

Coombe was born in Bath, Somerset, and went up to Christ’s College, Cambridge, in 1945. He was first a research fellow and then a lecturer at the Department of Botany, University of Cambridge. He stayed with the Department until his retirement in 1989.

The collection documents Coombe’s interest in historical ecology, the use of historical sources to supplement current research into specific habitats, his pioneering work in the study of plant growth and light using hemisphere photography and his career long study of a number of unique habitats in Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Norfolk, and South West England. It includes photographs, research data, draft publications, field notebooks, correspondence and associated papers. In addition there is material relating to Coombe’s expeditions to Norway, Iceland (pictured), Nigeria and Germany in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The collection also includes correspondence, diaries, photographic material and scrapbooks relating to Coombe’s childhood in Bath.

The collection was donated to the University of Bath by Christ’s College, Cambridge, in 2010.

A catalogue providing contents details of the Coombe Collection is available in PDF format.

Size: 70 boxes, ca 1900 items.