UCL News


UCL Collections 'Inspire'

16 June 2006

A new book entitled 'Inspire' outlines the highlights of UCL's varied museums and collections.

The illustrated book was launched on 15 June 2006 in UCL's Jeremy Bentham Room, and guests were invited to make a 'date' with an object. UCL curators were on hand to introduce guests to their 'dates' as well as a multitude of weird and wonderful objects, including snakeskins and primitive head rests.

The 'Inspire' book illustrates how UCL utilises its collections in innovative ways to encourage learning among a wide range of audiences, from schoolchildren to life-long learners.

In his foreword, sculptor and UCL alumnus Anthony Gormley says: "The breadth of UCL's collections is extraordinary; from the Akhenaten head to the first x-ray photograph; from John Napier's brilliant films of mokeys in the wild to the earliest known human artefacts and remains from Olduvai Gorge, from photographs of the surface of fellow planets in the Solar System to the sub-optical structures of micro-paleontology. They now become an accessible resource for all present students, all scholars and the curious form everywhere. All of this is a gift to Londoners and to all."

At the launch, UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant said: "One of the wonderful points I am able to make tonight is just how rich and varied the UCL collections are and how stunningly well this booklet portrays them and draws them to the attention of an audience who may be almost entirely ignorant of what we have here. The contents of our museums and collections celebrate so much of the history and discovery and innovation at UCL - the work that Ramsay did in discovering the noble gases, the work of Fleming on the thermionic valve. The scientific achievements at UCL are captured in our glass cases and sometimes hidden in our dark basements because of our inability to properly put them on display. We're going to change that. We're desperately keen at UCL to put up a new building a building - the Institute for Cultural Heritage. A building that will allow us to put our collections on display, but not just as museum pieces to be put on display but as items that live in the present as items that join together scholarship across the institution from science and the arts and the humanities."

'Inspire' costs £5 and is available for purchase from the UCL shop.

Link: UCL Museums & Collections