Grant Museum of Zoology History
“This museum has one of the best collections” – thus the visitors of the museum tell. Grant Museum of Zoology in London is not the place, where you can relax or entertain yourself with extremely expensive luxurious pieces of art. This museum is unusual, unique and very interesting. It is devoted to animal world – and has the most various collection of animals. Even if you are not the fan of science and the word “zoology” sounds too boring for you, this place is recommended for a visit, because it is different from all the other museums you have seen before.
It was opened in 1828, and as it usually happens, it was based on a private collection. The founder of the museum was Robert Edmond Grant, extremely talented person and well known zoologist in the 19th century.
Nowadays you can hardly recognize his name, or, even if you remember Mr. Grant, you connect his name with great Charles Darwin. The last one used to be the pupil of Robert Grant and his theory of evolution was created under the influence of his tutor. Robert Grant created his collection to teach his pupils and only later it turned out into Grant Museum of Zoology.
Nowadays this museum is the part of University College in London. Of course, the main aim of the workers of this museum is to help students, who are going to become the professionals in the sphere of Zoology and Anatomy, to study. But the collection is available even to those, who are not connected with Biology, but just are interested to know as many things as possible about the animal kingdom.
Grant Museum of Zoology Exhibitions
This place is very unusual – you can understand it just at the entrance. The only glance at skeletons of baboon, iguanodon and giant walrus, which greet visitors just at the entrance of the museum, is enough to understand what exhibits you can expect to see here. The museum exhibits are divided for evolutionary categories thoroughly, although at first sight it seems, that they are not systemized at all and are exhibited without any order – in chaos. It is a permanent exhibition that shows more than 67,000 of species – the representatives of the animal world. Here you will see the animals that do not exist already or are very rare, like Tasman tiger and many others. The species are kept in a special liquid and they look very natural. Unfortunately, some exhibits were lost in 1984, when the ceiling of the building collapsed and ruined many valuable items of permanent collection.
Grant Museum of Zoology
The other permanent exhibition of this museum is called “Gordon Exhibition”. The exhibits were given to Grant Museum of Zoology by their colleagues from Gordon Museum. And the collection represents to the guests of this institution different kinds of animal brains and the development of brain of a living being.
There’s also collection of wax models of animals here and various microscope slides. They are borrowed from the museum by students of the university, so not always it is possible to see these collections.
The main task of administration of the museum is educative work. Students come here to gain new knowledge in Zoology and Anatomy and develop their professional skills. Many people become more interested in zoology after visiting this museum. Many different events like public demonstrations, lessons at schools and lectures are arranged by the workers of the museum to attract people’s attention to science.
Many other museums of similar kind that are situated all over Great Britain, presented their collections to Grant Museum. It shows that popularity of this institution increases.
As for temporary collections, that are changeable, many of them are worth visiting too. Thus, just now the museum is closed for heat system repair (it will last about 2 weeks) and no temporary exposition is available. But last month the visitors could admire unusual animals from the collection, called “Strange Creatures” and soon they will see the exhibition, called “Strange Delusions”. The main goal of this collection is to show, how slight the border between living and non-living world is and how non-living materials can be turned into living beings.
The admission is free in the museum, so anyone, who wants to become wiser and more educated, are welcomed here.
The museum is opened from 13:00 till 17:00 every day, except Sunday. It is closed on holidays. Children are especially invited here, because some of them are going to become professional zoologists. But the children under 11 must be supervised with adults – it is obligatory.
If you are going to take the whole family here – or your class at school – this visit must be discussed in advance with the administration of the museum. Group visits are usually appointed for morning – from 10:00 till 13:00.
Although the entrance to the museum is free of charge, those, who are eager to make a donation, are welcomed here.
How to Get to Grant Museum of Zoology
Grant Museum of Zoology Address:
University College London
21 University Street
London WC1E 6DE
Telephone: +44 20 3108 2052
Museum is accessible by various kinds of transport. You can come here on foot – if you manage to walk around calm streets in London. You can make a trip by car – and stop at one of the nearest car parks. Otherwise it is possible to come by underground or by bus.
Grant Museum of Zoology Shop and Restaurants
The museum is rather educational institution than entertaining one, that’s why you can find a lot of interesting professional literature in the shop here. It is the best way to deepen your knowledge in Biology, getting rare books on the topic here or to make your child interested in Zoology and get his first book about animals.
The other interesting thing to get here is the one of original scripts of animals, which is taken from one of the temporary collections. Of course, greeting cards, which can be bought here, will remind you about this interesting visit to the museum all the time.
There’s no café or restaurant in the building of Grant Museum, so you can come at one of the nearest refreshments like “Tap Coffee” and some others. The personnel in the museum will be ready to help you and show you the way.
Visit to Grant Museum of Zoology in London is a good idea for connoisseurs of Biology or for those, who like to see an unusual and very interesting museum – different from all the others!