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On the Origin of Our Specimens: The Lankester Years

Emma-LouiseNicholls20 February 2014

‘The Thirteen’

The collection of specimens, known since 1997 as the Grant Museum of Zoology, was started in 1827 by Robert E. Grant. Grant was the first professor of zoology at UCL when it opened, then called the University of London, and he stayed in post until his death in 1874. The collections have seen a total of 13 academics in the lineage of collections care throughout the 187 year history of the Grant Museum, from Robert E. Grant himself, through to our current Curator Mark Carnall.

Both Grant and many of his successors have expanded the collections according to their own interests, which makes for a fascinating historical account of the development of the Museums’ collections. This mini-series will look at each of The Thirteen in turn, starting with Grant himself, and giving examples where possible, of specimens that can be traced back to their time at UCL. Previous editions can be found here.

Number Three: E. Ray Lankester (1875-1891) (more…)

If I were a woodlouse

Emma-LouiseNicholls28 January 2014

 

If I were a woodlouse, I would stick to wood,

And I would only go, where I know a woodlouse should,

I wouldn’t stick my head, into a bird’s leg-bone,

I wouldn’t use just anything, in which to make a home,

‘Cause the problem you might find, once you’ve wriggled in,

Is that over time you grew larger, and the bone becomes too thin,

So even if you turn around, and head back whence you came,

You may find that,

You’ve grown too fat,

And have to die of shame.

 

Emma-Louise Nicholls is the Curatorial Assistant at the Grant Museum of Zoology

 

And 11 months later

Dean WVeall8 August 2013

Dean Veall here, Learning and Access Officer at the Grant Museum of Zoology. As I pack my panniers and get ready to mount my trusted bicycle for an extended August break back in the rolling hills of the valleys of Wales I thought now would be an apt time to present a reflection on my first 11 months here at UCL and share some insight into the working life at the Grant Museum.

I started in September 2012, and my only real recollection of that first week was sitting in the Museum in the corner with my back to my new colleagues staring at our green main wall, a wall I came to know intimately over those two weeks in the middle of September we were closed for refurbishment.

The green green wall of the Grant

The green green wall of the Grant

(more…)