From global icons like the British Museum and the Ashmolean to the many hundreds of small collections to be found across the country, museums are at the very centre of our heritage. This beautifully illustrated history takes in the 'cabinets of curiosity' and the world-famous visitor attractions and remembers the collectors and curators - eccentrics, visionaries, looters, adventurers, scientists - and the colourful anecdotes for which we remember them. It also looks at museums in our culture and history as a whole, tracing the social shifts and trends which have affected them and of which they have been part, including the modern movement towards access, entertainment and more experimental forms of curation and display.
Christine Garwood is an author and researcher specialising in nineteenth-century social history and the history of science. She has published on topics as diverse as Victorian environmentalism, quack medicine, popular astronomy and the history of ideas.