Grant Museum of Zoology to close for improvement programme between spring and autumn 2023

20th February 2023
Grant Museum of Zoology

A woman crouches down next to a toddler in front of a wall of backlit microscope slides

The Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL will temporarily close in mid-March for a £300,000 improvement programme, reopening with a new narrative on ‘Species under Threat’ in autumn 2023. The Museum’s updated displays will tell a story of biodiversity loss, engaging visitors in the human impact on the planet’s diversity of life and how UCL research is responding to the planetary crisis.

UCL’s Grant Museum of Zoology will close its doors to visitors at 5pm Saturday 11 March 2023 in order to undergo a £300,000 programme of improvements and enhancements during spring and summer 2023, reopening in autumn 2023.

External funding for the improvement work was awarded jointly by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Foundation, and was announced at the Museum in December 2022.

Established in 1827 as a teaching collection in comparative anatomy, the Grant Museum of Zoology is now home to around 68,000 zoological specimens, ranging from extant and extinct animal skeletons, fluid preserved specimens, taxidermy, glass and wax animal models, fossils and pinned entomology. The Museum is visited by around 40,000 people each year. 

The changes will maintain the Museum’s beautifully unique floor-to-ceiling displays and atmospheric charm. The theatrical space will have new interpretation to highlight the astonishing diversity of life in the natural world and explore how the collections can inspire and challenge us to rebalance our relationship with nature.

The Grant Museum of Zoology will continue to host its renowned creative collaborations, between performers, artists, researchers and local communities, with a new emphasis on activism on the planetary crisis.

Tannis Davidson, Head of Zoology and Science Collections at UCL, said:

“The new displays will ensure that the Grant Museum continues to be a vital resource to learn about (and learn from) the animal kingdom by providing better care for our irreplaceable collections and highlighting how they play a role in biodiversity and conservation research”.

Kat Nilsson, Director of Museums and Cultural Programmes at UCL, said:

“We are grateful to DCMS Wolfson for funding this redevelopment. It will give a voice to both human and non-human species on biodiversity loss, while making stronger connections to UCL research working towards a more sustainable planet.”

Visit the Grant Museum of Zoology's website

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