Behind the Scenes in the Natural History Museum

There is a wonderful article in today's Guardian which takes a look behind the scenes of London's Natural History Museum (a museum that I recently visited with our Form IV and V trip to London - click here for a full report). This wonderful museum is home to one of the greatest collections of living things on the planet (ironically they are all dead of course). In the article, Patrick Barkham tells us how "going behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum is a rare treat; this is a working museum as magical as anything in fiction. Dust motes sail across crepuscular alcoves, where curators hunch over miniscule specimens on a gloomy mezzanine floor that looks unchanged from Bates's day. The smell of naphthalene – mothballs – is overpowering. Maxwell Barclay, head curator of coleoptera and hemiptera (beetles, to non-scientists) has travelled to Bolivia, Thailand, Taiwan and Peru. Unlike Bates, he collects intensively for just three weeks. Transporting finds is not a problem: thousands of beetles will pack into a small suitcase". Brilliantly written, Barkham is like a child in a sweet shop. Click here to read the remainder of the article.


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