These bequests and benefactions include both holdings relating to the donors (Dr John Hardie Wilson, Professor W C McIntosh, James Adam Terras and Ellis Crapper) and also to the following: James Wilson Jnr, brother of Dr John Hardie Wilson, (ca. 1885-1900); William Fernie Buist (Lawpark, St Andrews, ca. 1860); John Smith (Curator, Kew, ca. 1830); M L Bruce (Ceres, Fife, 1903); Friedrich Gottlieb Stebler (ca. 1880); Charles Howie (St Andrews, ca. 1850-1890); Eliza Rhymer McIntosh and Eliza Mitchell McIntosh, mother and sister of WC McIntosh (ca. 1858-1868); Dr James Lawson Drummond (ca. 1828-1848); Hugh Francis Clarke Cleghorn (1850); Professor William Angus Knight (ca. 1850-1905).
The collection also includes substantial holdings of unknown provenance. These holdings relate to a small number of unidentified individuals as well as the following Scottish botanists: Professor Robert Alexander Robertson (ca. 1896-1934); Mary Douglas Dunn [active in the University of St Andrews during the first half of the 20th century]; W B Ogilvie (ca. 1904-1957); Dr John Hardie Wilson (additional holdings, ca. 1896-1916).
The collection is made up of teaching material and research documents as well as some items of non-botanical local interest. The collection is of mixed media comprising a quantity of personal papers, teaching aids, lecture notes and notes taken by students, mounted botanical specimens (including mosses, ferns, grasses, algae and seaweeds) and photographic material (mostly botanical photographic images, lantern slides, glass plate negatives and one volume of botanical photography technique notes). There is also material relating to the history of the original University of St Andrews botanic garden site at St Mary's College, 1889-ca. 1955.