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July 10, 2005

Horniman Museum


It's in the Forest Hill section of London, England.

Yesterday Harry Eyres, the "Slow Lane" columnist of the Financial Times, mentioned it in his column, calling it "bizarre and wonderful."

Me, if I'm in London I'm off to visit the place.

You — well, you'll have to decide, won't you?


I visited the museum's website and learned that it was begun in the 1860s by Victorian tea trader John Horniman.

He began collecting specimens and artefacts from around the world and bringing them back to his family home in Forest Hill.

He opened part of his house to the public so they could view his treasures.

The collections increased and outgrew the family home and in 1898 Horniman commissioned Charles Harrison Townsend to design a new museum, which opened in 1901.

The original collections comprised natural history specimens, cultural artefacts and musical instruments.

"Over the last 100 years the museum has added significantly to the original bequest, with Horniman's original collections comprising only 10% of current ethnography and musical instrument holdings."


Currently, the museum holds some 350,000 objects and related items.

There are three main collections:

World Cultures and Ethnography — 80,000 objects

Natural History — 250,000 objects

Musical Instruments — 7,000 plus 1,000 archive documents

July 10, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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