New Schiff base ligands derived from vanillin (HL1), 4-dimethylaminobenzaldehyde (HL2) and 3,5-di-t-butyl-4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (HL3) with N-(pyridyl)-3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-5-aminobenzylamine (2) and their copper(II), cobalt(II), nickel(II), oxovanadium(IV) and zinc(II) transition metal complexes have been synthesized and characterized by elemental analyses, electronic and i.r. spectra, molar conductance data and by H-1 and C-13 n.m.r. spectra. The results indicate that the ligands coordinate through azomethine nitrogen and phenolic oxygen to the metal ions. In like manner, it was found that the pyridine and amine nitrogen atoms are not coordinated to the metal ions. The H-1 and C-13 n.m.r. spectral data confirmed the suggested structure for the Schiff base ligands, and the mass spectra results confirmed the proposed structure of the ligands. The antimicrobial activity properties of the ligands and their metal complexes have been studied.