Journal Article

  • Living Specimens in England’s Natural History Museums: Frequency, Use and Legislation
    Aw, J. M.
    NatSCA News, Issue 22, pages 22 - 34

    Living displays feature prominently in many of England’s natural history museums, but what do they add to exhibits? We first take a closer look at the current living displays of three prominent museums: the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Liverpool World Museum and Horniman Museum, then report the results of a questionnaire taking a more systematic look at the frequency and nature of current live animal displays in our natural history museums as well as curators’ perceptions of the benefits (or disadvantages) of their inclusion. Results suggest a variety of attitudes towards living displays and learning outcomes a focus of justifications. Curators also note a number of practical challenges to maintaining living collections and interesting issues are raised with regards to legislation governing living animal collections within museums.