The collections in the Bohart Museum began as the contents of two Schmitt boxes. From there they developed as teaching and research collections for the Department of Entomology at the University of California Farm in Davis in 1946. In 1966 the decision was made to maintain a type collection, which now contains more than 1700 primary types. By 1969 the collection consisted of 100,000 specimens. In 1983 the Entomology Research Collection was officially named after Professor Emeritus Richard M. Bohart. By 1995 the collection holdings had grown to 6 million curated specimens from around the world. The museum moved into a new facility funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of California, Davis.

The museum now houses more than 7 million specimens and is growing at the rate of about 50,000 specimens each year. We have received three collections grants from the National Science Foundation. The first grant went to improving the scale insect collection in 1999 and a second grant went to renovating and integrating existing and donated mosquito collections. The third grant is currently being used to recurate our alcohol preserve collection.

Our database is still in progress, currently we have the scale insect collection, insect fluid collection, and part of the bee collection available to view.

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