Haeckel’s embryos: the images that would not go away

06 Jul 2015

A new book tells, for the first time in full, the extraordinary story of drawings of embryos initially published in 1868. The artist was accused of fraud – but, copied and recopied, his images gained iconic status as evidence of evolution.

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How we fell in love with shopping

20 Mar 2015

An exhibition of ‘treasured possessions’ from the 15th to the 18th centuries reveals how we first fell in love with shopping, and takes us back to an age when our belongings were made by hand and passed down through the generations.

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Visions of plague

05 Dec 2014

A new research project is compiling the largest database of plague imagery ever amassed, focusing on a pandemic that peaked in the early 20th century and continues to this day.

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The lady of the longitude

30 Nov 2014

In 1714, the British Parliament offered large rewards for finding longitude at sea. Men around the world submitted schemes but only one woman, Jane Squire, published a proposal under her own name. Dr Alexi Baker has been investigating the life story of this remarkable trailblazer. 

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Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) and the books that made the father of anatomy

17 Jul 2014

Born 500 years ago, Andreas Vesalius has iconic status in the history of science.  Cambridge University Library holds several copies of the remarkable books that he published to revive the lost art of anatomy and promote his own career as a physician. Historian Dr Sachiko Kusukawa has curated an online exhibition to celebrate Vesalius's achievements.

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What William Courten bought on 9 June 1698: 1 young Pelican, 2 Land Tortoises and a cap of seafowles skin

09 Jun 2014

A remarkable archive records the purchases made by William Courten (1642–1702) whose museum was praised by visitors as a noble collection of curiosities. An investigation of Courten’s records by Dr Sachiko Kusukawa reveals that Courten bought items from more than 80 individuals, many of them trading within walking distance of his rooms in London’s Middle Temple. 

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We ask the experts: why do we put things into museums?

26 Nov 2013

Our lives are bound up with objects. Museums are evidence of our deep preoccupation with the things that surround us, whether natural or the product of human endeavour. Why do we keep stuff, what do we learn from it – and what does our fascination for objects from our past tell us about being human today?

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The importance of university museums

22 Nov 2013

University of Cambridge museums are among those highlighted as examples of best practice in a new report focusing on the outstanding contributions made by the University Museums Group UK.

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