What Was the Natural History Museum Before?

The Natural History Museum is one of the most iconic and recognizable museums in the world. It is a place where people can learn about the evolution of life on Earth, from dinosaurs to human beings. However, before it became the Natural History Museum, it had a very different purpose.

The Origins

The museum was originally established in 1753 as the British Museum. Its primary goal was to collect and display artifacts from around the world that represented human achievement in art, culture, and science.

In 1802, a separate department called the Department of Natural History was established within the British Museum. This department focused on collecting specimens of plants, animals, and minerals from around the world.

Evolution into a Separate Entity

As time went on, it became apparent that the Natural History Department had outgrown its space within the British Museum. In 1881, plans were made to construct a new building specifically for this purpose.

The new building would be located in South Kensington and would serve as a home for all of the natural history collections that had been amassed by the British Museum over the years. The building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse and construction began in 1873.

The Natural History Museum is Born

After several years of construction, the new building was finally ready to open its doors in 1881. The Natural History Museum was officially born.

The museum quickly became known for its impressive collection of specimens from around the world. Visitors could see everything from skeletons of extinct animals like dinosaurs to live specimens of insects and reptiles.

The Modern Day

Today, the Natural History Museum continues to be one of London’s most popular attractions. It has expanded its collection over the years to include more than 80 million specimens covering everything from botany to geology.

In recent years, it has also become known for its groundbreaking research in fields like biodiversity and climate change. The museum has even launched several initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability and environmental awareness.

In Conclusion

The Natural History Museum has come a long way since its origins as a department within the British Museum. Today, it is a world-renowned institution that serves as a hub for scientific research and discovery. Whether you’re interested in the history of life on Earth or simply want to marvel at the wonders of nature, the Natural History Museum is definitely worth a visit.