From its beginnings as part of the British Museum to its current site at South Kensington, the Natural History Museum has long been a favourite destination and home to one of the world's finest collections of natural objects - some 70 million animals, plants, minerals, rocks and fossils. This study takes the reader on a whirlwind journey through the history of the Natural History Museum, the people, the influences and the discoveries. It chronicles the more important milestones in the development of the Museum, brings to life the times in which they occurred, and the excitement and sometimes controversy which surrounded many of these events.
Published in 2001 under the title "The Natural History Museum: Nature's Treasurehouse", now (2009) reprinted with minor corrections, and a new title and book cover.
Preface; Origins of the Museum; The Museum established; A new building; To South Kensington; The Collections; Exhibitions and education; Research, The digital age; Bibliography; Index
Bob Press has worked as a curator and researcher at The Natural History Museum since 1973 and is now deputy head of the Department of Botany. His current research centres on plants of the Atlantic islands but he has also studied the plants of Europe and of Nepal. He has a special interest in plant collectors and the history of collecting, and is author of numerous books including field guides. John Thackray was Museum Archivist from 1989 until his death in 1999. After a B.Sc. degree in geology from Imperial College, London, he was Scientific Officer in the Geological Museum, and took an M.Sc. in the history of science, with further studies in Archive Administration. He was secretary for the Society of the History of Natural History for 17 years, and had been elected as the Society's President early in 1999.