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New identity for Museum at Tring

30 March 2007

Today, the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum is re-named the Natural History Museum at Tring.

Part of the Natural History Museum since 1937, the Hertfordshire Museum also has a website and signage facelift to bring it in line with the Natural History Museum brand.

'By changing our name to the Natural History Museum at Tring, we hope to attract a larger and more diverse audience so more people can enjoy our wonderful collections and temporary exhibitions,' says Teresa Wild, Director of the Natural History Museum at Tring. 

Wild, weird and wonderful collections

The remarkable collections were once the private passion of its founder, Lionel Walter Rothschild .

A favourite animal of Rothschild's was the zebra. The Museum has all known species of zebra on display.

Walter kept many unusual pets in the grounds of the Museum including zebras, a tame wolf, rheas, emus, a dingo, kangaroos, kiwis, cassowaries and giant tortoises. 

He even rented the entire island of Aldabra, in the Indian Ocean, for 10 years to allow the island's giant tortoise population to recover from over-hunting.

Other specimens on display include many extinct animals such as the giant moa and the quagga, an animal that looks similar to a zebra. And if you look closely in one of the hundreds of cabinets you may see two fleas dressed as Mexican dancers . They were sold as curiosities in Mexico in the early twentieth century. 

'We are extremely proud of our heritage and our links to the Rothschild family who gifted the entire Museum and its collections to the nation in 1938,' Teresa adds.

Over 100,000 visitors enjoy a rare public glimpse into the forgotten world of a Victorian collector every year. Many of the specimens on display are outstanding examples of 19th century taxidermy.
The site at Tring also houses the stunning Rothschild Library,   Natural History Museum's ornithological collection. It is one of the world's greatest collections of birds and includes Darwin's finches.

Dr Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, explains, 'Three years ago we redeveloped our brand so that it more accurately reflected our dual role as award-winning visitor attraction and world-leading scientific institution - something that we are now building on through use of the new identity of the Natural History Museum at Tring.'

Research makes news

Specimens from the collections are used for research by scientists from all over the world and many have historical tales to tell, such as recent news articles about the Indian warbler, Conjurer's bird and the Meinertzhagen fraud (articles linked below).

To celebrate the Museum's heritage, an exhibition and series of public events celebrating the life of Walter Rothschild, will be taking place over the summer.