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Nature's Library


Nature’s Library is the complete refurbishment of one of Manchester Museum’s Grade II* listed galleries. This was originally designed by the renowned Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse, who also designed Manchester’s Town Hall and the Natural History Museum in London. This project has restored many of the original features of the beautiful Gothic architecture to create a spectacular setting for new displays. The gallery showcases objects from the Museum’s outstanding collection of 4 million preserved animals, plants and fossils, collected from around the world over the last 200 years. Visitors can find out where the specimens come from, how they are used for research and what they mean to people today.

Nature’s Library features a stunning collection of taxidermy which includes: a dwarf crocodile; an emperor penguin; a leopard and a scarlet ibis. The collection also features: a preserved rattlesnake; the skeleton of a two-toed sloth; an array of fossils; shells; Victorian illustrations of plants and paraphernalia from the 19th and early 20th century, illustrating the culture of collecting.

Nature’s Library is supported by The DCMS/Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, The Pilgrim Trust, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement and John Spedan Lewis Foundation.

Nature's Library

Leopard. Image c CHICC - Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care

Image c CHICC - Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care