public opening of the Darwin Centre Phase One in September
was the high point of the Museum’s year, and the outcome
of much dedicated work by our scientific and professional
Our zoology curators
and researchers completed the daunting task of moving the
22 million zoology specimens to their new home, and prepared
to communicate more about their science and the collections
to the public.
Exhibitions and Visitor Services teams finalized the development
of the innovative Darwin Centre visitor offer. Touch screens
with information in 12 languages were prepared, together
with full interpretation, graphics and audiovisual support.
A successful recruitment and training drive enabled us to
build a knowledgeable and enthusiastic team to introduce
visitors to the Darwin Centre and ensure that they get the
most from their experience.
Our Communications and Development teams mounted an extensive
programme of public launches, marketing activities and fundraising
events, culminating in the official opening by Her Majesty
The Queen on 22 October. The Darwin Centre was launched
to an enthusiastic reception from press and public and has
been nominated for several awards, including shortlisting
for the prestigious Gulbenkian Prize. In the first six months
we welcomed more than 166,000 visitors.