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News and musings from the UCL Culture team


The Top Ten Grant Museum Blogs of 2015

By Jack Ashby, on 8 January 2016

Happy New Year!

2015 was an absolute cracker for the Grant Museum, with our two exhibitions – Strange Creatures: The Art of Unknown Animals, and our Artist in Residence Eleanor Morgan’s Glass Delusions – as well as the massive Bone Idols conservation project. Together these helped us break all records for visitor numbers, as well as being voted by the public to win Time Out’s Love London award for being Bloomsbury, Fitrovia and Holborn’s most loved cultural attraction (beating some pretty stiff competion [COUGH/britishmuseum/COUGH])

As a way of looking back over this monster year, on Twitter over the past week we’ve been counting down the best of 2015’s blog – the Top Ten most viewed Grant Museum posts of last year*. Looking back, it’s certain that we’ve had a top year in terms of blogging, with 93 posts from Team Grant. But what were the best posts?

I’ve announced those ranking at 10 to 2 in the charts, and exclusively revealing here that the most popular post of 2015 is…

Our Underwhelming Fossil Fish of the Month series!

**Fireworks – Fireworks – Cannon – Drums – Fireworks**

So, for the second year running, UFFOTM has topped the charts. Given that the whole point of the series is that it should be underwhelming, dull, unworthy of note and in all ways beige, it’s clear that we are failing in our aims for the fish. Not only did February’s post outshine all our other blog posts, but five other months would have appeared in the Top Ten if it weren’t for the fact that this would further display the series’ overwhelming inability to underwhelm. As a result the Top Ten below should in theory be more fossil fishy, but instead we chose to display a bit more variety and a bit less smudged grey slate.

2015’s Top Ten in full:

  1. Underwhelming Fossil Fish of the Month (February and five other months)
  2. Why do museums bother running events?
  3. The earliest Strange Creatures: Europe’s first meetings with marsupials
  4. The art of unknown animals – Our Strange Creatures exhibition
  5. What kind of animal is a Yoshi?
  6. Soon turned out we had a heart of papier mâché. Cool object research.
  7. The ringtail skeleton Specimen of the Week (the only skeleton we have with a penis bone attached)
  8. The death’s head hawk moth Specimen of the Week (possibly the ghouliest specimen in the collection)
  9. Hiding behind our more famous jar-based residents sits The Jar Of…?
  10. Fish printing and reanimating the dead

A great list showing a real diversity of specimen stories, life behind the scenes at museums, big developments in the Grant Museum, some traditional natural history, awesome art practice, and opinions from our expert staff. Let’s hope 2016 is just as interesting.

Jack Ashby is the Manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology


*for the sake of statistical truthfulness, our numbers are imperfect as we can’t count any page views that are generated by people clicking on links in our e-newsletter. The Top Ten here is based on page views from all other sources combined.

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