Science Museum, London

The Science Museum, London has it has its origins in the Great Exhibition of 1851, held in Hyde Park in the huge glass building known as the Crystal Palace. In 1857, South Kensington Museum opened on the site of what is now Victoria and Albert Museum. In 1862 the Science collections move to separate buildings on Exhibition Road and in the 1880s a Science library is established, with a Science Collections director appointed in 1893.

In 1909, when the new buildings were opened, the title was confined to the Art Collections. The Science and Engineering Collections were finally separated administratively and the name 'Science Museum', in informal use since 1885, was officially adopted. It was on June 26th that year that the institutional reorganisation into two independent institutions was ratified and the title "Science Museum" was officially bestowed.

A change in the underlying philosophy of the Science Museum can be said to date from about 1960. The emphasis began to shift from technical education informed by historical exposition, to a more broadly-based policy of preservation of historical artefacts placed in their historical and social context.

The history of the Science Museum over the last 150 years has been one of continual change. The exhibition galleries are never static for long, as they have to reflect and comment on the increasing pace of change in science, technology,

industry and medicine. Even if this sometimes means the removal of some wellloved objects to store, we can be certain that some of their modern replacements will become cherished in turn.