The Natural History Museum is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London (the others are the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum). Alfred Waterhouse (19 July 1830 – 22 August 1905 was an English Architect, particularly associated with the Victorian Gothic revival. Diplodocus (dɪˈplɒdəkəs /daɪˈplɒdəkəs/ Diplodocus is among the most easily identifiable dinosaurs with its classic dinosaur shape long neck A museum is a "permanent institution in the service of society and of its development open to the public which acquires conserves researches communicates and exhibits the Exhibition Road is a street in South Kensington, London, England. South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. For science museums in general check out Science museum. The Science Museum on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London is part The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A) in London is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design housing a permanent collection Its main frontage is on Cromwell Road. Cromwell Road is a major road in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, and is designated part of the A4.
The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 70 million items within five main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology. Botany, plant science(s, phytology, or plant biology is a branch of Biology and is the scientific study of plant Life Entomology (from Greek grc ἔντομος entomos, "that which is cut in pieces or engraved/segmented" hence "insect" and grc -λογία Mineralogy is an Earth Science focused around the Chemistry, Crystal structure, and physical (including optical) properties of Minerals Palaeontology redirects here For the Scientific journal, see Palaeontology (journal. Zoology (from Greek ζῷον, zoon, "animal" + λόγος, " Logos " "knowledge" is the branch of The museum is a world-renowned centre of research, specialising in taxonomy, identification and conservation. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Darwin. Charles Robert Darwin (February 12 1809 &ndash April 19 1882 was an English naturalist, who realised and demonstrated that all Species of life
The museum is particularly famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons, and ornate architecture - sometimes dubbed a cathedral of nature - both exemplified by the large Diplodocus cast which dominates the vaulted central hall. Diplodocus (dɪˈplɒdəkəs /daɪˈplɒdəkəs/ Diplodocus is among the most easily identifiable dinosaurs with its classic dinosaur shape long neck
Originating from collections within the British Museum, the landmark Alfred Waterhouse building was built and opened by 1881, and later incorporated the Geological Museum. The British Museum is a Museum of human history and culture in London. Alfred Waterhouse (19 July 1830 – 22 August 1905 was an English Architect, particularly associated with the Victorian Gothic revival. Year 1881 ( MDCCCLXXXI) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The Geological Museum (originally The Museum of Practical Geology, started in 1835 is one of the oldest single science museums in the world and now part of the The Darwin Centre is a more recent addition, partly designed as a modern facility for storing the valuable collections.
The foundation of the collection was that of the Ulster doctor Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753), which allowed his significant collections to be purchased by the British Government at a price well below their market value at the time. Sir Hans Sloane 1st Baronet, PRS ( 16 April, 1660 &ndash 11 January, 1753) was an Ulster-Scot Physician and This purchase was funded by a lottery. Sloane's collection, which included dried plants, and animal and human skeletons, was initially housed in Montague House in Bloomsbury in 1756, which was the home of the British Museum. Montagu House (sometimes spelled "Montague" was a late 17th century mansion in Great Russell Street in the Bloomsbury district of London, which Bloomsbury is an area of central London in the south of the London Borough of Camden, developed by the Russell family in the 17th and 18th centuries into The British Museum is a Museum of human history and culture in London.
Most of the Sloane collection had disappeared by the early decades of the nineteenth century. Sir George Shaw (Keeper of Zoology 1906-13) sold many specimens to the Royal College of Surgeons. George Shaw ( December 10, 1751 - July 22, 1813) was an English Botanist and Zoologist. His successor William Elford Leach made periodical bonfires in the grounds of the museum. William Elford Leach FRS ( 2 February 1790 – 26 August 1836) was an English Zoologist and Marine biologist  In 1833 the Annual Report states that, of the 5,500 insects listed in the Sloane catalogue, none remained. The inability of the natural history departments to conserve its specimens became notorious: the Treasury refused to entrust it with specimens collected at the government's expense. Appointments of staff were bedevilled by gentlemanly favoritism; in 1862 a nephew of the mistress of a Trustee was appointed Entomological Assistant who did not know the difference between a butterfly and a moth. 
J.E. Gray (Keeper of Zoology 1840-74) complained of the incidence of mental illness amongst staff: George Shaw threatened to put his foot on any shell not in the 12th edition of Linnaeus' Systema Naturae; another had removed all the labels and registration numbers from entomological cases arranged by a rival. John Edward Gray ( 12 February 1800 &ndash 7 March 1875) was a British zoologist. Carl Linnaeus (Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as, May 23 new style (13 May old style 1707 who laid the foundations for Entomology (from Greek grc ἔντομος entomos, "that which is cut in pieces or engraved/segmented" hence "insect" and grc -λογία The huge collection of conchologist Hugh Cuming was acquired by the museum, and Gray's own wife had carried the open trays across the courtyard in a gale: all the labels blew away. Conchology is the scientific, semi-scientific or Amateur study of mollusk shells (in the UK spelled mollusc shells Hugh Cuming (14 February 1791 - 10 August 1865 was an English naturalist and Conchologist. That collection is said never to have recovered. 
The Principal Librarian at the time was the geat Antonio Panizzi; his contempt for the natural history departments and for science in general was total. Sir Antonio Genesio Maria Panizzi ( 16 September 1797 – 8 April 1879) better known as Anthony Panizzi, was a naturalized British The general public was not encouraged to visit the Museum's natural history exhibits. In 1835 to a Select Committee of Parliament, Sir Henry Ellis said this policy was fully approved by the Principal Librarian and his senior colleagues. Sir Henry Ellis ( November 29, 1777 &ndash January 15, 1869) was an English Librarian.
Many of these faults were corrected by Richard Owen, appointed Superintendent of the natural history departments of the British Museum in 1856. Sir Richard Owen KCB ( Lancaster, July 20 1804 &ndash December 18 1892) was an English Biologist With some justification, Bill Bryson wrote "by making the Natural History Museum an institution for everyone, Owen transformed our expectations of what museums are for". William McGuire "Bill" Bryson, OBE, (born 8 December 1951 is a best-selling American Author of humorous books on Travel, as well 
Owen saw that the natural history departments needed more space, and that implied a separate building as the British Museum site was limited. Land in South Kensington was purchased, and in 1864 a competition was held to design the new museum. The winning entry was submitted by Captain Francis Fowke who died shortly afterwards. Francis Fowke ( 7 July 1823 - 4 December 1865) was a British Engineer and Architect, and a Captain in the The scheme was taken over by Alfred Waterhouse who substantially revised the agreed plans, and designed the façades in his own idiosyncratic Romanesque style. Regional characteristics of Romanesque architecture|Romanesque art Romanesque architecture is the term that is used to describe the architecture of Middle Ages Europe which The original plans included wings on either side of the main building, but these plans were soon abandoned for budgetary reasons. The space these would have occupied are now taken by the Earth Galleries and Darwin Centre.
Work began in 1873 and was completed in 1880. The new museum opened in 1881, although the move from the old museum was not fully completed until 1883.
Both the interiors and exteriors of the Waterhouse building make extensive use of terracotta tiles to resist the sooty climate of Victorian London. Terra cotta ( Italian: "baked earth" is a Ceramic. Its uses include vessels water & waste water pipes and surface embellishment in Building construction Culture The Victorian fascination with novelty resulted in a deep interest in the relationship between modernity and cultural continuities The tiles and bricks feature many relief sculptures of flora and fauna, with living and extinct species featured within the west and east wings respectively. This explicit separation was at the request of Owen, and has been seen as a statement of his contemporary rebuttal of Darwin's attempt to link present species with past through the theory of natural selection . Charles Robert Darwin (February 12 1809 &ndash April 19 1882 was an English naturalist, who realised and demonstrated that all Species of life Natural selection is the process by which favorable Heritable traits become more common in successive Generations of a Population of
The central axis of the museum is aligned with the tower of Imperial College London (formerly the Imperial Institute) and the Royal Albert Hall and Albert Memorial further north. Imperial College London (officially The Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine as given in its Royal Charter It is one of only three universities to have reached The Royal Albert Hall is an Arts venue situated in the Knightsbridge area of the City of Westminster, London, England, best known The Albert Memorial is situated in Kensington Gardens, London, England, directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall. These all form part of the complex known colloquially as Albertopolis. Albertopolis is a nickname for the area centered around South Kensington, London, England, between Cromwell Road and Kensington
Even after the opening, legally the NHM remained a department of the British Museum with the formal name British Museum (Natural History), usually abbreviated in the scientific literature as B. Scientific literature comprises scientific Publications that report original empirical and theoretical work in the natural and Social sciences M. (N. H. ) or BMNH. A petition to the Chancellor of the Exchequer was made in 1866, signed by the heads of the Royal, Linnean and Zoological Societies as well as naturalists including Darwin, Wallace and Huxley, asking that the museum gain independence from the board of the British Museum, and heated discussions on the matter continued for nearly one hundred years. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all Economic and Financial The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, known simply as The Royal Society, is a Learned society for science that was founded in 1660 Charles Robert Darwin (February 12 1809 &ndash April 19 1882 was an English naturalist, who realised and demonstrated that all Species of life Alfred Russel Wallace OM, FRS (8 January 1823 &ndash 7 November 1913 was an British naturalist, Explorer, Geographer Thomas Henry Huxley PC FRS (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895 was an English Biologist, known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy Finally, with the British Museum Act 1963, the British Museum (Natural History) became an independent museum with its own Board of Trustees, although – despite a proposed amendment to the act in the House of Lords – the former name remained. The British Museum is a Museum of human history and culture in London. The House of Lords is the second house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is also commonly referred to as "the Lords" Only with the Museums and Galleries Act 1992 did the Museum's formal title finally change to the Natural History Museum. The Museums and Galleries Act 1992 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (1992 c
In 1986 the museum absorbed the adjacent Geological Museum of the British Geological Survey, which had long competed for the limited space available in the area. The Geological Museum (originally The Museum of Practical Geology, started in 1835 is one of the oldest single science museums in the world and now part of the The Geological Museum (originally The Museum of Practical Geology, started in 1835 is one of the oldest single science museums in the world and now part of the The British Geological Survey (BGS is a partly publicly-funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom landmass and its Continental The Geological Museum became world-famous for exhibitions including an active volcano model and an earthquake machine (designed by James Gardiner), and housed the world's first computer-enhanced exhibition (Treasures of the Earth). The Geological Museum (originally The Museum of Practical Geology, started in 1835 is one of the oldest single science museums in the world and now part of the The museum's galleries were completely rebuilt and relaunched in 1996 as The Earth Galleries, with the other exhibitions in the Waterhouse building retitled The Life Galleries. The Geological Museum (originally The Museum of Practical Geology, started in 1835 is one of the oldest single science museums in the world and now part of the The Natural History Museum's own Mineralogy displays remain largely unchanged as an example of the 19th-century display techniques of the Waterhouse building.
The central atrium design by Neal Potter  overcame visitors' reluctance to visit the upper galleries by "pulling" them through a model of the Earth made up of random plates on an escalator. The new design covered the walls in recycled slate and sandblasted the major stars and planets onto the wall. The Museums 'star' geological exhibits are displayed within the walls. Six iconic figures are the backdrop to discussing how previous generations have viewed their home planet.
The newly-developed Darwin Centre (named after Charles Darwin) is designed as a new home for the museum's collection of 10s of millions of preserved specimens, as well as new workspaces for the museum's scientific staff, and new educational visitor experiences. Charles Robert Darwin (February 12 1809 &ndash April 19 1882 was an English naturalist, who realised and demonstrated that all Species of life Built in two distinct phases, with two new buildings adjacent to the main Waterhouse building, it is the most significant new development project in the museum's history.
Phase one of the Darwin Centre has been completed, and now houses the Zoological department's 'spirit collections' — organisms preserved in alcohol. Zoology (from Greek ζῷον, zoon, "animal" + λόγος, " Logos " "knowledge" is the branch of In Chemistry, an alcohol is any Organic compound in which a Hydroxyl group ( - O[[hydrogen H]]) is bound to a Carbon Currently Darwin Centre Phase One (or DC1 as it is called) is closed to the general public - except for special tours and events - while DC2 is being built.
Phase two of the project will bring the entomology and botanical collections - the 'dry collections' - into the same complex. Entomology (from Greek grc ἔντομος entomos, "that which is cut in pieces or engraved/segmented" hence "insect" and grc -λογία Botany, plant science(s, phytology, or plant biology is a branch of Biology and is the scientific study of plant Life Much of the entomology collection is in temporary storage in the former Origin of Species Gallery and at Wandsworth, while the new building is completed on the site of the now-demolished Entomology building. This article refers only to the town of Wandsworth For the wider area generally referred to as Wandsworth see the separate article on London Borough of Wandsworth. The current estimate is DC2 will be ready for opening in 2009.
Arguably the most famous creature in the centre is the 8. 62 metre long Giant Squid, affectionately named Archie (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2006/feb/news_5255.html). The giant squid ( Genus: Architeuthis) is a deep-ocean dwelling Squid in the family Architeuthidae, represented by
As part of the museum's remit to communicate science education and conservation work, a new multimedia studio will form an important part of Darwin Centre Phase 2. In collaboration with the BBC's Natural History Unit - holder of the largest archive of natural history footage available - the David Attenborough Studio - named after the venerable broadcaster and presenter - will provide a unique multimedia environment for educational events. Sir David Frederick Attenborough OM, CH, CVO, CBE, FRS (born 8 May 1926 in London, England The studio will continue the daily webcast lectures and demonstrations that were previously based within the Phase 1 building, featuring museum scientists and guests.
One of the most famous and certainly most prominent of the exhibits - affectionately known as Dippy - is a 105 foot long replica Diplodocus carnegii skeleton, situated within the central hall. The cast was given as a gift by the Scottish American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, after a discussion with King Edward VII, then a keen trustee of the British Museum. Andrew Carnegie (properly kɑrˈneɪgi but commonly /ˈkɑrnɨgi/ or /kɑrˈnɛgi/ (25 November 1835 – 11 August 1919 was a Scottish -born American Industrialist Carnegie arranged for the cast to be created at his own considerable expense of £2000, copying the original held at the Carnegie Museum. The pieces were sent to London in 36 crates, and on the 12th May 1905, the exhibit was unveiled, to great public and media interest (the real fossil had yet to be mounted, as the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was still being constructed to house it). As word of "Dippy" spread, Mr. Carnegie paid to have additional copies made for display in most of the major European capitals and in Latin and South America, making Dippy the most-seen dinosaur skeleton in the world. The dinosaur quickly became an iconic representation of the museum, and has featured in many cartoons and other media, including the 1975 Disney comedy One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing. Comedy (from the Greek κωμωδίαkomodia has a popular meaning (any discourse generally intended to amuse especially in Television, Film, and One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing is a 1976 British comedy film which is set in the early 1920s about the theft of a Dinosaur Skeleton
Another iconic display is the parallel skeleton and model of a blue whale. The Blue Whale ( Balaenoptera musculus) is a Marine mammal belonging to the suborder of Baleen whales (called Mysticeti The display of the skeleton, weighing 10 tons and some 25m long, was only made possible in 1934 with the building of the New Whale Hall (now the Large Mammals Hall), though it had been in storage for 42 years since its stranding on sandbanks at Wexford Bay. Wexford (derived from Old Norse Veisafjǫrðr (in some sources spelled "Waes Fiord" – veisa meaning "mudflat stagnant pool" Discussion of the idea of a life-size model also began around this time, and work was undertaken within the Whale Hall itself. Since taking a cast of such a large animal was deemed prohibitively expensive, scale models were used to meticulously piece the structure together. During construction, workmen left a trapdoor within the whale's stomach, which they would use for surreptitious cigarette breaks. Before the door was closed and sealed forever, some coins and a telephone directory were placed inside - this soon growing to an urban myth that a time capsule was left inside. An urban legend or urban myth is a form of modern Folklore consisting of stories thought to be factual by those circulating them A time capsule is a historic cache of goods and/or information usually intended as a method of Communication with people in the future The work was completed - entirely within the hall and in full view of the public - in 1938. At the time it was the largest such model in the world, at 28. 3m in length, though the construction details were later borrowed by several American museums, who scaled the plans further.
The Darwin Centre is host to Archie, an 8 metre long giant squid taken alive in a fishing net near the Falkland Islands in 2004. The giant squid ( Genus: Architeuthis) is a deep-ocean dwelling Squid in the family Architeuthidae, represented by The giant squid ( Genus: Architeuthis) is a deep-ocean dwelling Squid in the family Architeuthidae, represented by A fishing net or fishnet is a net that is used for Fishing. Fishing nets are Meshes usually formed by Knotting a relatively thin thread The squid is not on general display, but stored in the large tank room in the basement of the Phase 1 building. On arrival at the museum, the specimen was immediately frozen while preparations commenced for its permanent storage. Since few complete and reasonably fresh examples of the species exist, ‘wet storage’ was chosen, leaving the squid undissected. A 9. 45m acrylic tank was constructed (by the same team that provide tanks to Damian Hirst), and the body preserved using a mixture of formalin and saline solution. Damien Hirst (born 7 June 1965 is an English artist and the most prominent of the group that has been dubbed " Young British Artists " (or YBAs Formaldehyde is a Chemical compound with the formula H2CO It is the simplest Aldehyde —an organic compound containing a terminal Carbonyl In Medicine, saline (also saline solution) is a general term referring to a sterile solution of Sodium chloride (table Salt) in water
The museum holds the remains and bones of the River Thames Whale that lost its way on 20 January 2006 and swam into the Thames. The River Thames Whale was a juvenile female Northern Bottlenose whale which was discovered swimming in the River Thames in Central London on Friday The Thames ( is a major River flowing through southern England. Although primarily used for research purposes, and held at the museum's storage site at Wandsworth, the skeleton has been put on temporary public display. This article refers only to the town of Wandsworth For the wider area generally referred to as Wandsworth see the separate article on London Borough of Wandsworth. 
The museum runs a series of educational and public engagement programmes.
In 2005, the museum launched a project to develop notable gallery characters to patrol display cases, including 'facsimiles' of luminaries such as Carl Linnaeus, Mary Anning, Dorothea Bate and William Smith. Carl Linnaeus (Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as, May 23 new style (13 May old style 1707 who laid the foundations for Mary Anning ( May 21, 1799 &ndash March 9, 1847) was an early British Fossil collector and paleontologist. Dorothea Minola Alice Bate FGS ( 8 November 1878 – 13 January 1951) also known as Dorothy Bate, was a British William Smith ( March 23 1769 &ndash August 28 1839) was an English Geologist, credited with creating the first nationwide They tell stories and anecdotes of their lives and discoveries and aim to surprise visitors. 
Formerly called Darwin Centre Live, the Nature Live programme of free events gives visitors an opportunity to meet and talk with the scientists who work behind the scenes at the museum. Live events take place every day at 12. 30 GMT, with subjects from evolution and climate change, to biodiversity and space. Visitors can ask questions, see specimens that are not normally on public display, and participate in video link-ups to laboratory spaces and field work sites around the world. The events are also webcast live on the museum's website, and online viewers can participate by emailing in questions or comments. Previous events are archived online.
The closest London Underground station is South Kensington — there is a tunnel from the station that emerges close to the entrances of all three museums. The London Underground is a Metro system serving a large part of Greater London and neighbouring areas of Essex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire South Kensington is a London Underground station in Kensington, west London. Admission is free, though there are donation boxes in the foyer.
The Natural History Museum is a National Museum and has offered free entry since 2001. However, there is an entry charge for some temporary exhibitions. Details of current exhibitions and charges can be found at www. nhm. ac. uk. The Museum is open every day (except the 24th/25th/26th December) from 10:00. Last entry is at 17:30 and the Museum closes at 17:50.
The NHM also has a sister museum, located at Tring, Hertfordshire. The Natural History Museum at Tring was the private museum of Lionel Walter 2nd Baron Rothschild, today it is under the control of the Natural History Museum Tring is a small Market town in the Chiltern Hills in Hertfordshire, England. Hertfordshire (ˈhɑːtfədʃə(r, abbreviated Herts) is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of Built by local eccentric Lionel Walter Rothschild, the NHM took ownership in 1938. Lionel Walter Rothschild 2nd Baron Rothschild ( February 8, 1868 &ndash August 27 1937) a scion of the Rothschild family was a In 2007, the museum announced the name would be changed to the Natural History Museum at Tring, though the older name, the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum is still in widespread use.
The Cromwell Road entrance
The Central Hall
The Whale Hall
An example of "wet" storage from a shelf in the Tank Room within the Darwin Centre (Phase 1)
Hanging skeletons enliven the ceiling on the balcony area of the Central Hall. Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death In Biology, the skeleton is a strong and often a rigid framework that supports the body of an animal holding it upright and giving it shape and strength (Also skeletal
Skaters outside December 2006
See John Stow for the 1598 work 'Survey of London' The Survey of London is a research project to produce a comprehensive historical The British national grid reference system is a system of geographic grid references commonly used in Great Britain, different from using Latitude and Longitude