I’ve had a bit of extra time on my hands lately so I’ve taken to seeing some of the more ‘off the beaten path’ museums around London. One of which I was particularly fond of is the Grant Museum of Zoology. It was originally founded in 1928 as a teaching museum and now houses around 67,000 specimens from all over the world. It is pretty incredible and worth a visit.
One of the reasons I prefer the smaller museums on a large city is that the number of visitors is drastically reduced and I’ll spend more time looking at each and every object, examining them and really learning from my experience. All without a crowd of visitors snapping flash photos and blocking the view.
The Grant Museum has a long, rich and fascinating history which I won’t go into on The Mix, but you can read about it here. I will say that when you step into this museum, you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time to an era of Naturalism at it’s best. The wood and glass cabinets full of hand-labeled curioso envokes a feeling of history. One may even believe that if you look to a corner, you’ll see Charles Darwin writing amongst the turtles and dodo bird bones.
Don’t let the history of this place fool you though! The Grant Museum is moving their collection into the digital era. While you can’t quite view the collection online (and why would you – the museum is worth seeing in person!), you may follow them on Twitter or use one of their many iPads located throughout the museum to join in on zoology discussions. See! History can be future thinking too. While the Grant Museum is just a tiny piece of London’s history, it is a very important one. If you aren’t squeamish, I highly recommend!