The secret life of the Natural History Museum

10 January 2008

Delve into the secret life of the Natural History Museum with Richard Fortey's new book Dry Store Room Number 1.

Dry Store Room Number 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum, Richard Fortey's new book

Dry Store Room Number 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum, Richard Fortey's new book

As a former senior palaeontologist at the Museum, Richard spent more than 30 years working there, specialising on trilobites, the distant relatives of crabs and lobsters that lived 300-400 million years ago.

Richard's new book gives a fascinating and affectionate account of a hidden world of untold treasures. It reveals secrets of the life, work and characters that are behind the scenes at the Museum.

'This book is a kind of museum of the mind,' says Richard. 'It is my own collection, a personal archive, designed to explain what goes on behind the polished doors in the Natural History Museum.'

'The lustre of a museum does not depend only on the artefacts or objects it contains - the people who work out of sight are what keeps a museum alive…I want to bring those invisible people into the sunlight.'

Richard explores fascinating details about the vast Museum archives. Over 70 million specimens are looked after by the Museum, some on display to the public and many that are behind the scenes but used by researchers all over the world.

Richard also reveals extraordinary characters such as Richard Meinertzhagen, who deliberately deceived the Museum with fraudulent bird specimens.

Book signing

Richard Fortey will be signing copies of Dry Store Room Number 1 on Thursday 17 January between 15.00 and 16.00 in the main Museum Shop.

Further information

External links