Nine expeditions were conducted in the Bahamas from 1987 to 1995 for the purpose of collecting marine organisms for biomedical research. Collections concentrated on sponges from various deep water habitats: the fore reef slope and escarpment (30-60 m), the deep fore reef slope and escarpment (60-150 m), and the deep shelf slope (150-922 m). A total of 417 sites were sampled throughout the archipelago using the Johnson-Sea-Link and Clelia research submersibles, ROV, and scuba. For each sample, a taxonomic voucher specimen was prepared, and each was documented with in situ and laboratory photographs and videotapes. Collection site and sample descriptions were transcribed into a database. A total of 3058 sponges were collected from all depth zones: 922-300 m, 19.2%; 300-60 m, 39.6%; and <60 m, 41.2%. Nearly 300 species were enumerated, representing 20 orders, 61 families, and 137 genera. Distributional patterns of the taxa were analyzed with depth and latitude.