Sir Hans Sloane Although today principally a museum of cultural art objects and antiquitiesthe British Museum was founded as a "universal museum". Its foundations lie in the will of the Irish physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane —who was a London-based doctor and scientist from Ulster. They were joined in by the "Old Royal Library", now the Royal manuscriptsassembled by various British monarchs. Together these four "foundation collections" included many of the most treasured books now in the British Library  including the Lindisfarne Gospels and the sole surviving manuscript of Beowulf.
Sir Hans Sloane Although today principally a museum of cultural art objects and antiquitiesthe British Museum was founded as a "universal museum". Its foundations lie in the will of the Irish physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane —who was a London-based doctor and scientist from Ulster.
They were joined in by the "Old Royal Library", now the Royal manuscriptsassembled by various British monarchs. British library business plan service these four "foundation collections" included many of the most treasured books now in the British Library  including the Lindisfarne Gospels and the sole surviving manuscript of Beowulf.
Sloane's collection, while including a vast miscellany of objects, tended to reflect his scientific interests. The trustees rejected Buckingham House, on the site now occupied by Buckingham Palaceon the grounds of cost and the unsuitability of its location.
Inthe trustees of the British Museum, under the influence of Peter Collinson and William Watsonemployed the former student of Carl LinnaeusDaniel Solander to reclassify the natural history collection according to the Linnaean system, thereby making the Museum a public centre of learning accessible to the full range of European natural historians.
During the few years after its foundation the British Museum received several further gifts, including the Thomason Collection of Civil War Tracts and David Garrick 's library of 1, printed plays.
The bequest of a collection of books, engraved gemscoins, prints and drawings by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode in did much to raise the museum's reputation; but Montagu House became increasingly crowded and decrepit and it was apparent that it would be unable to cope with further expansion. A list of donations to the museum, dated 31 Januaryrefers to the Hamilton bequest of a "Colossal Foot of an Apollo in Marble".
It was one of two antiquities of Hamilton's collection drawn for him by Francesco Progenie, a pupil of Pietro Fabris, who also contributed a number of drawings of Mount Vesuvius sent by Hamilton to the Royal Society in London.
Montagu HouseTownley Gallery and Sir Robert Smirke 's west wing under construction, July The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus Room, s In the early 19th century the foundations for the extensive collection of sculpture began to be laid and Greek, Roman and Egyptian artefacts dominated the antiquities displays.
InThomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elginambassador to the Ottoman Empire from to removed the large collection of marble sculptures from the Parthenonon the Acropolis in Athens and transferred them to the UK.
In these masterpieces of western art, were acquired by The British Museum by Act of Parliament and deposited in the museum thereafter.
The Ancient Near Eastern collection also had its beginnings in with the purchase of Assyrian and Babylonian antiquities from the widow of Claudius James Rich. The extension, the East Wing, was completed by However, following the founding of the National Gallery, London in[e] the proposed Picture Gallery was no longer needed, and the space on the upper floor was given over to the Natural history collections.
The King's Libraryon the ground floor of the East Wing, was handed over inand was described as one of the finest rooms in London.
Although it was not fully open to the general public untilspecial openings were arranged during The Great Exhibition of In spite of dirt and disruption the collections grew, outpacing the new building.
In the s and s the museum supported excavations in Assyria by A. Layard and others at sites such as Nimrud and Nineveh.
Of particular interest to curators was the eventual discovery of Ashurbanipal 's great library of cuneiform tabletswhich helped to make the museum a focus for Assyrian studies. The books arrived in January in twenty-one horse-drawn vans.
The only vacant space for this large library was a room originally intended for manuscripts, between the Front Entrance Hall and the Manuscript Saloon. The books remained here until the British Library moved to St Pancras in Collecting from the wider world —75 [ edit ] The opening of the forecourt in marked the completion of Robert Smirke 's plan, but already adjustments were having to be made to cope with the unforeseen growth of the collections.
Infill galleries were constructed for Assyrian sculptures and Sydney Smirke 's Round Reading Roomwith space for a million books, opened in Because of continued pressure on space the decision was taken to move natural history to a new building in South Kensingtonwhich would later become the British Museum of Natural History.
Roughly contemporary with the construction of the new building was the career of a man sometimes called the "second founder" of the British Museum, the Italian librarian Anthony Panizzi. Under his supervision, the British Museum Library now part of the British Library quintupled in size and became a well-organised institution worthy of being called a national library, the largest library in the world after the National Library of Paris.
A real coup for the museum was the purchase inover French objections, of the Duke of Blacas 's wide-ranging and valuable collection of antiquities. With the departure and the completion of the new White Wing fronting Montague Street inmore space was available for antiquities and ethnography and the library could further expand.
This was a time of innovation as electric lighting was introduced in the Reading Room and exhibition galleries. Inthe museum was involved in the establishment of the independent Egypt Exploration Fund now Society the first British body to carry out research in Egypt.Eventbrite - The London Business Support Service Limited presents Business Advice Clinic - A one hour, confidential, one-to-one Business Advice Clinic with an experienced business advisor (Jan) - Wednesday, 2 January at The British Library, London, Greater London.
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These reference materials were once accessible only in the library, but now you can access them online from the library or remotely 24/7.