In autumn 1914 as Europe's military "doomsday machine" creaked into gear, the war effort at the Natural History Museum was about to spring into life. The grounds became an ad hoc military barracks, first aid units were formed and staff from across the institutions of 'Albertopolis' were marshalled into the Volunteer Corps for Home Defence (Museum section).
During the next four years many Govemment departments turned to the Museum for its scientific expertise and innovation. The knowledge held within the Museum became a vital repository for the military, on everything from equine anatomy to moth damage on the air balloons of the Royal Naval Air Service.
In A Museum at War. historian and journalist Karolyn Schindler presents a series of compelling snapshots of life at the Museum during the Great War and demonstrates how deeply it affected the people working there. She reveals not only how the four years of war fundamentally altered all aspects of Museum life but also how the Museum itself played an unexpected and often surprisingly significant role in Britain's war effort.
Karolyn Shindler read Modern History at Oxford. Formerly a political journalist with the BBC, she is now a scientific associate of the Natural History Museum. She is the author of Discovering Dorothea, the acclaimed biography of the fossil-hunter Dorothea Bate, as well as numerous popular articles on outstanding historical figures associated with the Museum.