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Society for the History of Natural History

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The Grant Museum Reopens: First Chance to See

The Grant Museum Reopens: First Chance to See

Tuesday 15th March, 1-8pm

After eight months of packing, design, construction, unpacking, screwing skeletons together and reorganising 68000 dead animals, the Grant Museum of Zoology opens the doors to its new life in an Edwardian former library. Join us on launch day, with late-night opening when the museum staff will be on-hand to chat about the new museum.

Whilst maintaining the unique atmosphere of its amazing crammed displays, around the new museum are scattered a load of iPads asking visitors to answer provocative questions about what a museum should be and the role of science in society today. After the 15th March the Museum will be open Monday to Friday 1-5pm (but closed on public holidays and around Christmas and Easter). The address is below. Tell all your friends.

Press round up: Naturally, the media are getting very excited about all this too, particularly the surprise find of a new dodo (in the Guardian), the iPads (in Wired), and the general opening (in the Evening Standard). Keep your eyes and ears out for more in the coming weeks.

Image: Bones from a Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) © Grant Museum of Zoology

Grant Museum of Zoology


The Grant Museum is the only remaining university zoological museum in London. It houses around 67,000 specimens, covering the whole Animal Kingdom. Founded in 1828 as a teaching collection, the Museum is packed full of skeletons, mounted animals and specimens preserved in fluid. Many of the species are now endangered or extinct including the Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine, the Quagga, and the Dodo.


The Grant Museum has selection of spectacular glass models made by the Blaschka family in the late 1800s. The museum also contains many of Robert Grant’s original specimens as well as those of Thomas Henry Huxley. The Grant Museum’s collection of Sir Victor Negus’s bisected heads are both arresting and beautiful and are reminiscent of the work of the artist Damien Hirst.

To see some of the most important specimens in the museum, click here.

History of the Collections

The museum has a rich history dating back to over 170 years, find out more about it by clicking here

Robert Grant’s university correspondence, many of his papers and lectures can be found in the UCL Special Collections.

We will re-open on Tuesday 15th March 2011 in a new space:

Rockefeller Building
University College London
21 University Street
London WC1E 6DE

Regular updates on the big move, and news of the grand re-opening, will be available here on the website and through the UCL Museums and Collections Facebook page and Twitter feed.

We have a new phone number – 020 3108 2052. Our email address is

Opening hours

After the 15th March, our normal public opening hours are Monday – Friday 1-5pm. Groups are researchers are also able to visit in the mornings. Due to the holiday closure of UCL, we are not open on public holidays or for a few days surrounding Christmas and Easter.
Easter 2011 we will close for Easter at 5pm on 20th April and reopen at 1pm on 27th April.
Spring 2011 holidays we will not be open for the long weekend public holidays on 29th April and 2nd May