The Natural History Museum’s spirit collections are open to tours from the public

The Natural History Museum in Kensington is running public tours of its spirit collections, which are normally inaccessible to the public.

The spirit collections are comprised of over twenty two millions specimens preserved in spirit inside jars, and represent around three hundred years of contributions to science and zoology.

They contain several one-off specimens like Archie the giant squid, the largest wet preserved specimen in the world, an octopus captured by Charles Darwin whilst he was aboard the Beagle, and the only spirit specimen of the now extinct Fijian bar-winged rail in the world.

The tour will take you through the highlights of the extensive collections, where you will learn about how specimens are preserved and the extensive history of the collection and its contributors.

SWL spoke to Jon Ablett, Senior Curator of Mollusca at the museum, to find out more.

You can purchase tickets for tours of the spirit collections here.

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