"The selection and purchase of the pieces in the collection was undertaken in 1875 by Landon C. Garland, the first Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University, who was at the time the University's first chancellor. The pieces were originally procured mainly for instructional purposes and represent what an experienced college teacher of physics and astronomy would have needed to present his subjects properly more than one hundred years ago. Although there are collections of classical instruments in a few museums, they are usually grouped by category, e.g., thermometers or barometers, or drawn from long periods of time. The Garland Collection, on the other hand, includes pieces purchased in 1875, or soon thereafter, and in a variety that encompasses most of the branches of physics and astronomy of that date." -- from The Garland Collection of Classical Physics Apparatus at Vanderbilt University, by Robert T. Lagemann, Folio Publishers, 1983.
The pieces are on display in various buildings of the Stevenson Center for the Natural Sciences, in Featheringill Hall in the School of Engineering, and at the Observatory.