Tag Archives: Cabinet of curiosities

this day in history: The British Museum Opens (1759)


The British Museum Opens (1759)

When the British Museum opened to the public in 1759, its exhibits were based largely on personal collections, including Sir Hans Sloane‘s Cabinet of Curiosities, Robert Harley’s library, and Sir Robert Cotton‘s antiquities. Today, the museum is home to more than 13 million historical items. Its assortment of prints and drawings is one of the world’s finest, and it houses such famous relics as the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. Why is the ownership of the latter collection in dispute? More… Discuss

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Today’s Birthday: ULISSE ALDROVANDI (1522)


Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522)

After earning a degree in medicine, Aldrovandi took up botany and zoology, amassing a spectacular cabinet of curiosities containing thousands of specimens. He is said to have been the first to use the word “geology” in its modern sense. Carolus Linnaeus, the botanist who laid the groundwork for the modern system of naming species, hailed Aldrovandi as the father of natural history. Aldrovandi also founded Bologna‘s public botanical garden and was its first curator. Why was he arrested in 1549?More… Discuss