Dry Store Room No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum (Paperback)
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Short Description for Dry Store Room No. 1 'Dry Store Room No. 1' is an intimate biography of the Natural History Museum, celebrating the eccentric personalities who have peopled it and capturing the wonders of scientific endeavour, academic rigour and imagination.
- Published: 01 September 2008
- Format: Paperback 320 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780007209897 ISBN 10: 0007209894
- Sales rank: 61,767
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Reviews for Dry Store Room No. 1
- Staff review
Dry Store Room No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum
Dry Store Room No.1 is not a very appealing title nor a very enlightening one but, happily, Richard Fortey's book is both hugely appealing and very enlightening, and a wonderfully quirky history of a singular British institution.
Fortey, a retired senior palaentologist, author of The Earth: An intimate history, gives us just what the subtitle promises, The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum. He takes us behind the public facade of the museum to what he calls "a kind of museum of the mind ... It is my own collection, a personal archive, designed to explain what goes on behind the polished doors in the Natural History Museum. The lustre of a museum does not depend only on the artefacts or objects it contains - the people who work out of sight are what keeps a museum alive ... I want to bring those invisible people into the sunlight."
And a lot of those "people who work out of sight" are probably best kept far away from the public -- many of them seem quite wonderfully eccentric! "Feuds, affairs, scandals and skulduggery ... have punctuated the Museum's long history" as have the working lives of many hugely clever and inspiring individuals who have spent their whole careers studying evolutionary science and helping us all to understand our place in the universe just that little bit better. by Mark Thwaite