“The Natural History Museum is, first and foremost, a celebration of what time has done to life,” writes Fortey, whose engaging book similarly commemorates the vast record of life on Earth. As he meanders through the halls of the museum’s back rooms, Fortey proves to be an excellent, witty guide to the scientists and specimens that give testament to this history. Far from being a dry read,Dry Storeroom No. 1weaves together colorful anecdotes about the scientists, their research, and the value of museums, defending evolution while admitting how much we still don’t know about the Earth’s species (starting with beetles, for example). A few critics pointed out that Fortey errs on the side of including too much information, but most readers will embrace his guide to, well, everything having to do with life. Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
Behind-the-scenes look at London's Natural History Museum is an interesting peak at the "coalface"--Fortey's term for the daily work occurring beyond and below the public galleries--of museum science. Fortey describes the main work of the Museum, and its sister institutions in other countries, as systematic taxonomy--the attempt to exhaustively categorize and collect reference examples of each species of plant, animal, and mineral. In an era of hard-to-obtain research grants … more
This volume would be useful for patrons of the Natural History Museum . i.e. London or New York The book has extensive photographs of artifacts; such as, a Martian meteorite (igneous rock formation). There are memorable pictures of a giant plant-eating dinosaur, the extinct moa (world's largest bird), a duck-billed platypus and many other fossils of yesteryear. The volume would make a perfect gift for the student in your house.