THE POTTING SHED UK Jan/Feb Issue 2014 - Page 35

Natures Treasure house

by John Thackray and Bob Press

I have visited the Natural History Museum several times and have always been amazed by the displays just walking through the main door is orinspiring. Not to mention seeing a full size model of a whale hanging from the ceiling but how did this great institution come to be this book takes you through the history museum from it's not so humble beginnings to the modern day.

The man we have to thank for the Natural history museum is Sir Hans Sloane although not the official founder. But if it was not for his vast collection the museum would never have begun Sloane was a great collector of natural history artifacts the rarer and the more unusual the better so he could impress his friends.

On Sloane death in 1753 his will declared that his collection be kept together 63 trustees had been appointed prior to his death and they had the task to sell the collection as one. The government was petitioned to buy the collection as a whole it was agreed that Sloane’s collection and several other collection be brought together to form The British Museum. The museum grew and grew out growing many buildings through it's history until in 1873 the natural history collection gained it's own building. Which opened to the public in 1881 in South Kensington still under the management of The British Museum until 1992 when it became The Natural History Museum as we know today.

This is a fascinating book well written with lots of great pictures and is a must read for anyone in to natural history or just history in general.

RRP £12.99

ISBN 978 0 565 09318 1

Available from the Natural History Museum and all good book shops