About the project

Museum lives captures the human stories about the museum’s history and collections.

The stories are told by fifty curators and researchers, forming a rich archive of memories covering every aspect of life at the Museum.

You will find:

  • personal memories
  • stories about the collection and individual specimens
  • tales of Museum field trips
  • the rich history of the Museum
  • working life before and after World War II
  • changing approaches to exhibitions

This archive will be of interest to researchers across many disciplines, as well as those with a general interest in the Museum and its history. We envisage that this material will also provide inspiration to artists, filmmakers, broadcasters, writers and poets. 

At the time of the project’s inception, 24 specialist staff were due to retire, representing 775 years of experience between them. Kingston University, through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and its partner the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences (FHSCS), addressed this urgent need to capture their rich histories by creating a video-archive of interviews.

This online resource represents just 5% of our entire video-archive. To access the full collection of interviews please contact the Museum's Archives team.

To find out more about the Museum Lives project, please contact the CAHR team.

Museum lives was a 3-year collaboration between Kingston University and the Centre for Arts and Humanities Research at the Natural History Museum.
The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and led by Professor Brian Cathcart.

In partnership with
Funded by

“The longer you’re here, the thing you realise is that these are not just objects, they’re peoples’ lives.”

Andy Currant , curator of fossil vertebrates at the Museum 

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