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London Natural History Museum (Лондонський історичний музей)

This article is about the Natural History Museum, London. For a list of
museums of natural history, and articles on the general topic, see
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_natural_history_museums»
\o «List of natural history museums» List of natural history museums .

Established 1881

Location HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exhibition_Road» \o
«Exhibition Road» Exhibition Road , HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Kensington» \o «South Kensington»
South Kensington , HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London» \o
«London» London , HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England» \o
«England» England

Visitor figures 3,600,119 (2006) HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_History_Museum» \l «cite_note-0»
\o «» [1]

Nearest tube station(s) HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Kensington_station» \o «South
Kensington station» South Kensington

Website HYPERLINK «http://www.nhm.ac.uk/» \o «http://www.nhm.ac.uk//»
www.nhm.ac.uk

The Natural History Museum is one of three large HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum» \o «Museum» museums on
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exhibition_Road» \o «Exhibition
Road» Exhibition Road , HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Kensington» \o «South Kensington»
South Kensington , HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London» \o
«London» London (the others are the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_Museum» \o «Science Museum»
Science Museum , and the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_and_Albert_Museum» \o «Victoria
and Albert Museum» Victoria and Albert Museum ). Its main frontage is
on HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cromwell_Road» \o «Cromwell
Road» Cromwell Road . The museum is a HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-departmental_public_body» \o
«Non-departmental public body» non-departmental public body sponsored
by the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_for_Culture,_Media_and_Sport»
\o «Department for Culture, Media and Sport» Department for Culture,
Media and Sport

The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some
70 million items within five main collections: HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botany» \o «Botany» Botany , HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entomology» \o «Entomology» Entomology ,
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineralogy» \o «Mineralogy»
Mineralogy , HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palaeontology» \o
«Palaeontology» Palaeontology and HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoology» \o «Zoology» Zoology . The
museum is a world-renowned centre of research, specialising in taxonomy,
identification and conservation. Given the age of the institution, many
of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value,
such as specimens collected by HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin» \o «Charles Darwin»
Darwin . The Natural History Museum Library contains extensive book,
journal, manuscript, and artwork collections linked to the work and
research of the scientific departments. Access to the library is by
appointment only.

The museum is particularly famous for its exhibition of HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur» \o «Dinosaur» dinosaur
skeletons, and ornate architecture — sometimes dubbed a cathedral of
nature — both exemplified by the large HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplodocus» \o «Diplodocus» Diplodocus
cast which dominates the vaulted central hall.

Originating from collections within the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Museum» \o «British Museum»
British Museum , the landmark HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Waterhouse» \o «Alfred Waterhouse»
Alfred Waterhouse building was built and opened by 1881, and later
incorporated the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geological_Museum» \o «Geological Museum»
Geological Museum . The Darwin Centre is a more recent addition, partly
designed as a modern facility for storing the valuable collections.

The Natural History Museum, shown in wide-angle view here, has an ornate
terracotta facade by HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbs_and_Canning_Limited» \o «Gibbs and
Canning Limited» Gibbs and Canning Limited typical of high HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_architecture» \o «Victorian
architecture» Victorian architecture . The terracotta mouldings
represent the past and present diversity of nature.

History and architecture

An 1881 plan showing the original arrangement of the Museum.

The museum from the south west

The entrance to the Earth Galleries

The main hall of the museum

Statue of Charles Darwin by Sir Joseph Boehm in the main hallThe
foundation of the collection was that of the Ulster doctor Sir Hans
Sloane (1660–1753), who allowed his significant collections to be
purchased by the British Government at a price well below their market
value at the time. This purchase was funded by a lottery. Sloane’s
collection, which included dried plants, and animal and human skeletons,
was initially housed in Montague House in Bloomsbury in 1756, which was
the home of the British Museum.

Most of the Sloane collection had disappeared by the early decades of
the nineteenth century. Sir George Shaw (Keeper of Zoology 1806-13) sold
many specimens to the Royal College of Surgeons. His successor William
Elford Leach made periodical bonfires in the grounds of the museum.[2]
In 1833 the Annual Report states that, of the 5,500 insects listed in
the Sloane catalogue, none remained. The inability of the natural
history departments to conserve its specimens became notorious: the
Treasury refused to entrust it with specimens collected at the
government’s expense. Appointments of staff were bedevilled by
gentlemanly favoritism; in 1862 a nephew of the mistress of a Trustee
was appointed Entomological Assistant who did not know the difference
between a butterfly and a moth. [3][4]

J.E. Gray (Keeper of Zoology 1840-74) complained of the incidence of
mental illness amongst staff: George Shaw threatened to put his foot on
any shell not in the 12th edition of Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae; another
had removed all the labels and registration numbers from entomological
cases arranged by a rival. The huge collection of conchologist Hugh
Cuming was acquired by the museum, and Gray’s own wife had carried the
open trays across the courtyard in a gale: all the labels blew away.
That collection is said never to have recovered. [5]

The Principal Librarian at the time was Antonio Panizzi; his contempt
for the natural history departments and for science in general was
total. The general public was not encouraged to visit the Museum’s
natural history exhibits. In 1835 to a Select Committee of Parliament,
Sir Henry Ellis said this policy was fully approved by the Principal
Librarian and his senior colleagues.

Many of these faults were corrected by Richard Owen, appointed
Superintendent of the natural history departments of the British Museum
in 1856. His changes led Bill Bryson to write that «by making the
Natural History Museum an institution for everyone, Owen transformed our
expectations of what museums are for».[6]

Owen saw that the natural history departments needed more space, and
that implied a separate building as the British Museum site was limited.
Land in South Kensington was purchased, and in 1864 a competition was
held to design the new museum. The winning entry was submitted by
Captain Francis Fowke who died shortly afterwards. The scheme was taken
over by Alfred Waterhouse who substantially revised the agreed plans,
and designed the facades in his own idiosyncratic Romanesque style. The
original plans included wings on either side of the main building, but
these plans were soon abandoned for budgetary reasons. The space these
would have occupied are now taken by the Earth Galleries and Darwin
Centre.

Work began in 1873 and was completed in 1880. The new museum opened in
1881, although the move from the old museum was not fully completed
until 1883.

Both the interiors and exteriors of the Waterhouse building make
extensive use of terracotta tiles to resist the sooty climate of
Victorian London, manufactured by the Tamworth-based company of Gibbs
and Canning Limited. The tiles and bricks feature many relief sculptures
of flora and fauna, with living and extinct species featured within the
west and east wings respectively. This explicit separation was at the
request of Owen, and has been seen as a statement of his contemporary
rebuttal of Darwin’s attempt to link present species with past through
the theory of natural selection [1].

The central axis of the museum is aligned with the tower of Imperial
College London (formerly the Imperial Institute) and the Royal Albert
Hall and Albert Memorial further north. These all form part of the
complex known colloquially as Albertopolis.

[edit] Separation from the British Museum

Even after the opening, legally the NHM remained a department of the
British Museum with the formal name British Museum (Natural History),
usually abbreviated in the scientific literature as B.M.(N.H.) or BMNH.
A petition to the Chancellor of the Exchequer was made in 1866, signed
by the heads of the Royal, Linnean and Zoological Societies as well as
naturalists including Darwin, Wallace and Huxley, asking that the museum
gain independence from the board of the British Museum, and heated
discussions on the matter continued for nearly one hundred years.
Finally, with the British Museum Act 1963, the British Museum (Natural
History) became an independent museum with its own Board of Trustees,
although – despite a proposed amendment to the act in the House of Lords
– the former name remained. Only with the Museums and Galleries Act 1992
did the Museum’s formal title finally change to the Natural History
Museum.

Geological Museum

Main article: Geological Museum

Earth Galleries atrium, designed by Neal PotterIn 1986, the museum
absorbed the adjacent Geological Museum of the British Geological
Survey, which had long competed for the limited space available in the
area. The Geological Museum became world-famous for exhibitions
including an active volcano model and an earthquake machine (designed by
James Gardiner), and housed the world’s first computer-enhanced
exhibition (Treasures of the Earth). The museum’s galleries were
completely rebuilt and relaunched in 1996 as The Earth Galleries, with
the other exhibitions in the Waterhouse building retitled The Life
Galleries. The Natural History Museum’s own Mineralogy displays remain
largely unchanged as an example of the 19th-century display techniques
of the Waterhouse building.

The central atrium design by Neal Potter overcame visitors’ reluctance
to visit the upper galleries by «pulling» them through a model of the
Earth made up of random plates on an escalator. The new design covered
the walls in recycled slate and sandblasted the major stars and planets
onto the wall. The Museums ‘star’ geological exhibits are displayed
within the walls. Six iconic figures are the backdrop to discussing how
previous generations have viewed Earth.

The Darwin Centre

Backstage at the NHM. The Tank Room within Darwin Centre Phase 1 holds
larger fish from the spirit collection, and preparation facilities for
them.The newly-developed Darwin Centre (named after Charles Darwin) is
designed as a new home for the museum’s collection of tens of millions
of preserved specimens, as well as new workspaces for the museum’s
scientific staff, and new educational visitor experiences. Built in two
distinct phases, with two new buildings adjacent to the main Waterhouse
building, it is the most significant new development project in the
museum’s history.

Phase one of the Darwin Centre has been completed, and now houses the
Zoological department’s ‘spirit collections’ — organisms preserved in
alcohol.

Darwin Centre Phase Two has been completed and was unveiled in September
2008 but will not open to the general public until September 2009. It is
designed by Danish architecture practice C. F. Moller Architects in the
shape of a giant, eight-story cocoon and houses the entomology and
botanical collections — the ‘dry collections’.[7]

Arguably the most famous creature in the centre is the 8.62 metre long
Giant Squid, affectionately named Archie
(http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2006/feb/news_5255.html).

[edit] The David Attenborough Studio

As part of the museum’s remit to communicate science education and
conservation work, a new multimedia studio will form an important part
of Darwin Centre Phase 2. In collaboration with the BBC’s Natural
History Unit — holder of the largest archive of natural history footage
available — the David Attenborough Studio — named after the venerable
broadcaster and presenter — will provide a unique multimedia environment
for educational events. The studio will continue the daily webcast
lectures and demonstrations that were previously based within the Phase
1 building, featuring museum scientists and guests.

[edit] Galleries

RED ZONE

Earth Lab

Earth’s Treasury

Lasting Impressions

Restless Surface

Earth Today and Tomorrow

From the Beginning

The Power Within

Visions of Earth

GREEN ZONE

Birds

Creepy Crawlies

Ecology

Fossil Marine Reptiles

Giant Sequoia and Central Hall

Minerals

The Vault

Our Place in Evolution

Plant Power

Primates

Investigate

BLUE ZONE

Moving roaring model of T. rex in the dinosaur areaDinosaurs

Fishes, Amphibians and Reptiles

Human Biology

Jerwood

Marine Invertebrates

Mammals

Mammals (Blue Whale)

Nature Live

ORANGE ZONE

Wildlife Garden

Darwin Centre

Further Details on all the Galleries can be found on the website [2]

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