David Edward Coombe was born in Bath, Somerset, and went up to Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, in 1945. He was first a research fellow and then a lecturer in 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, his use of historical sources to supplement current research into specific habitats, his pioneering work on 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. 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, University of Cambridge, in 2010.

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

Size: 70 boxes, c 1900 items.