Dry Store Room No. 1 et plus d'un million d'autres livres sont disponibles pour le Kindle d'Amazon. En savoir plus


ou
Identifiez-vous pour activer la commande 1-Click.
Plus de choix
Vous l'avez déjà ? Vendez votre exemplaire ici
Désolé, cet article n'est pas disponible en
Image non disponible pour la
couleur :
Image non disponible

 
Commencez à lire Dry Store Room No. 1 sur votre Kindle en moins d'une minute.

Vous n'avez pas encore de Kindle ? Achetez-le ici ou téléchargez une application de lecture gratuite.

Dry Store Room No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum [Anglais] [Broché]

Richard A. Fortey

Prix : EUR 12,64 Livraison à EUR 0,01 En savoir plus.
  Tous les prix incluent la TVA
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Il ne reste plus que 14 exemplaire(s) en stock (d'autres exemplaires sont en cours d'acheminement).
Expédié et vendu par Amazon. Emballage cadeau disponible.
Voulez-vous le faire livrer le jeudi 17 juillet ? Choisissez la livraison en 1 jour ouvré sur votre bon de commande. En savoir plus.

Formats

Prix Amazon Neuf à partir de Occasion à partir de
Format Kindle EUR 6,10  
Relié --  
Relié --  
Broché EUR 11,87  
Broché EUR 12,64  

Description de l'ouvrage

1 septembre 2008
Richard Fortey—one of the world’s most gifted natural scientists and acclaimed author of Life, Trilobite and Earth—describes this splendid new book as a museum of the mind. But it is, as well, a perfect behind-the-scenes guide to a legendary place. Within its pages, London’s Natural History Museum, a home of treasures—plants from the voyage of Captain Cook, barnacles to which Charles Darwin devoted years of study, hidden accursed jewels—pulses with life and miraculous surprises. In an elegant and illuminating narrative, Fortey acquaints the reader with the extraordinary people, meticulous research and driving passions that helped to create the timeless experiences of wonder that fill the museum. And with the museum’s hallways and collection rooms providing a dazzling framework, Fortey offers an often eye-opening social history of the scientific accomplishments of the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Fortey’s scholarship dances with wit. Here is a book that is utterly entertaining from its first page to its last.
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Offres spéciales et liens associés


Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Chapter 1

Behind the Galleries

This book is my own store room, a personal archive, designed to explain what goes on behind the polished doors in the Natural History Museum. All our lives are collections curated through memory. We pick up recollections and facts and store them, often half forgotten, or tucked away on shelves buried deep in the psyche. Not everything is as blameless as we might like. But the sum total of that deep archive is what makes us who we are. I cannot escape the fact that working for a whole lifetime within the extravagant building in South Kensington has moulded much of my character. By the same token, I also know the place rather better than any outsider. I am in a position to write a natural history of the Natural History Museum, to elucidate its human fauna and explain its ethology. There are histories that deal with the decisions of the mighty, and there are histories that are concerned with the ways of ordinary people. An admirable history of the Natural History Museum as an institution, by William T. Stearn, was published in 1981. What Stearn largely left out was an account of the achievements, hopes and frustrations, virtues and failings of the scientists who occupied the "shop floor"- the social history, if you like. My own Dry Storeroom No. 1 will curate some of the stories of the people who go to make up a unique place. I believe profoundly in the importance of museums; I would go as far as to say that you can judge a society by the quality of its museums. But they do not exist as collections alone. In the long term, the lustre of a museum does not depend only on the artefacts or objects it contains-the people who work out of sight are what keeps a museum alive by contributing research to make the collections active, or by applying learning and scholarship to reveal more than was known before about the stored objects. I want to bring those invisible people into the sunlight. From a thousand possible stories I will pick up one or two, just those that happen to have made it into my own collection. Although I describe my particular institution I dare say it could be a proxy for any other great museum. Perhaps my investigations will even cast a little light on to the museum that makes up our own biography, our character, ourselves.

At first glance the Natural History Museum looks like some kind of cathedral, dominated by towers topped by short spires; these lie at the centre of the building and at its eastern and western corners. Ranks of round-topped Romanesque windows lie on "aisles" connecting the towers which confirm the first impression of a sacred building. Even on a dull day the outside of the Museum shows a pleasing shade of buff, a mass of terracotta tiles, the warmth of which contrasts with the pale stucco of the terraces that line much of the other side of the Cromwell Road. Courses of blue tiles break up the solidity of the façade. The entrance to the Museum is a great rounded repeated arch, flanked by columns, and the front doors are reached by walking up a series of broad steps. Arriving at the Natural History Museum is rather like entering one of the magnificent cathedrals of Europe, like those at Reims, Chartres or Strasbourg. The visitor almost expects to hear the trilling of an organ, or the sudden pause of a choir in rehearsal. Instead, there is the cacophony of young voices. And where the Gothic cathedral will have a panoply of saints on the tympanum above the door, or maybe carvings of the Flight from Egypt, here instead are motifs of natural history-foliage with sheep, a wolf, a muscled kangaroo.

The main hall still retains the feel of the nave of a great Gothic cathedral, because it is so high and generously vaulted. But now the differences are obvious. High above, where the cathedral might display flying buttresses, there are great arches of steel, not modestly concealed, but rather flaunted for all they are worth. This is a display of the Victorian delight in technology, a celebration of what new engineering techniques could perform in the nineteenth century. Elsewhere in the Natural History Museum, a steel frame is concealed beneath a covering of terracotta tiles that completely smother the surface of the outside and most of the inside of the building; these paint the dominant pale-brown colour. Only in the hall are the bones exposed. This could have created a stark effect but is softened by painted ceiling panels; no angels spreadeagled above, but instead wonderful stylized paintings of plants. It does not take a botanist to recognize some of them: here is a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris),* there is a lemon tree (Citrus limonum), but how many Europeans would recognize the cacao plant (Theobroma cacao)? Many visitors, and most children, don't even notice these charming ceiling paintings. Their attention is captured by other bones: the enormous Diplodocus dinosaur that occupies the centre of the ground floor, heading in osteological splendour towards the door. Its tiny head bears a mouthful of splayed teeth in a grinning welcome.

The Diplodocus has been there a long time. It is actually a cast of an original in Pittsburgh, which was assembled in the Museum during 1905. The great philanthropist Andrew Carnegie presented the specimen to King Edward VII, who then handed it over to the Museum in person at a grand public occasion. Diplodocus was proudly in place when I first came to the Natural History Museum as a little boy in the 1950s, and it was still there when I retired in 2006. I am always glad to see it; not that I regard a constructed replica of an ancient fossil as an old friend, it is just consoling to pass the time of day with something that changes little in a mutable world.

But Diplodocus has changed, albeit rather subtly. When I was a youngster, the enormously long Diplodocus tail hung down at the rear end and almost trailed along the floor, its great number of extended vertebrae supported by a series of little props. This arrangement was not popular with the warders, as unscrupulous visitors would occasionally steal the last vertebra from the end of the tail. There was even a box of "spares" to make good the work of thieves so that the full backbone was restored by the time the doors opened the following day. Visitors today will see a rather different Diplodocus: the tail is elevated like an extended whip held well above the ground, supported on a brass crutch which has been somewhat cruelly compared with those often to be found in the paintings of Salvador Dalí; now the massive beast has an altogether more vigorous stance. The skeleton was remodelled after research indicated that the tail had a function as a counterbalance to the extraordinarily long neck at the opposite end of the body. Far from being a laggard, Diplodocus was an active animal, despite the smallness of its brain. Nowadays, all the huge sauropod dinosaurs in films such as Jurassic Park show the tail in this active position. Many exhibits in a natural history museum are not permanent in the way that sculptures or portraits are in an art gallery. Bones can be rehung in a more literal way than paintings.

Now animatronic dinosaurs flash their teeth and groan, and carry us back effectively to the Cretaceous period, a hundred million years ago. Small children shelter nervously behind the legs of their parents. "Don't worry," say the parents, "they aren't real." The kids do not always look convinced. The bones that caused such a sensation in Andrew Carnegie's time a century ago, and that still command attention in the main hall, are now sometimes considered a little too tame. There is, to my mind, still something eloquent about the Diplodocus specimen: not merely its size, but that it is the assembled evidence for part of a vanished world. All those glamorous animations and movie adventures rely ultimately on the bones. A museum is a place where the visitor can come to examine evidence, as well as to be diverted. Before the exhibitions started to tell stories, that was one of the main functions of a museum, and the evidence was laid out in ranks. There are still galleries in the Natural History Museum displaying minerals, the objects themselves- unadorned but for labels-a kind of museum of a museum, preserved in aspic from the days of such systematic rather than thematic exhibits. Few people now find their way to these galleries.

The public galleries take up much less than half of the space of the Natural History Museum. Tucked away, mostly out of view, there is a warren of corridors, obsolete galleries, offices, libraries and above all, collections. This is the natural habitat of the curator. It is where I have spent a large part of my life-indeed, the Natural History Museum provides a way of life as distinctive as that of a monastery. Most people in the world at large know very little about this unique habitat. This is the world I shall reveal.

I had been a natural historian for as long as I could remember and I had always wanted to work in a museum. When there was a "career day" at my school in west London I was foolish enough to ask the careers master, "How do you get into a museum?" The other boys chortled and guffawed and cried out, "Through the front door!" But I soon learned that it would not be that easy. Getting "into a museum" as a researcher or curator is a rather arduous business. A first degree must be taken in an appropriate subject, geology in my case, and this in turn followed by a Ph.D. in a speciality close to the area of research in the museum. When I applied for my job in 1970, this was enough, but today the demands are even greater. A researcher must have a "track record," which is a euphemism for lots of published scientific papers-that is, articles on research printed in prestigious scientific journals. He or she must also be described in glowing terms by any number of referees; and, most difficult of all, there must be the prospect of raising funds f... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Revue de presse

“Fortey. . . in his affectionate portrayal of the institution in which he spent his working life. . . sneaks us behind the scenes with all the glee of a small child seeing for the first time the museum's iconic Diplodocus skeleton . . .always authoritative. . . the beauty of the book is that - just like a museum - you can visit the different sections in any order you choose, lingering in the places that most take your fancy. . . and there is plenty of solid science to enjoy, elucidated with brilliant flair.”—Sunday Times

“Fortey has a scientist's regard for fact but a poet's delight in wonder. This is a rare intoxicating insight into a hidden community intent on unlocking the universe's myriad secrets.”—Metro

"Engaging. . . .Fortey's writing is enough to make the behind-the-scenes work of the museum totally fascinating. . . . (his) delightful book, like the museum it describes, is both rambling and elegant."—Sunday Telegraph

“This book is worthy of the place it tells us about, and that is a pretty lofty chunk of praise.”—The Times

“Richard Fortey's wonderful book . . . shows the unspectacular elements of the museum collection as the most interesting part of its work, while placing the well-known exhibits in a new and often comical light. . . with eccentricity flourishing unchecked among its staff Fortey has amassed a brilliant collection of anecdotes about their habits.”—Daily Telegraph

“In this loving survey of his life at the museum, Fortey. . . is never less than enthused by all the museum's collections.”—Financial Times

“Compendious and entertaining. . . much of the narrative interest of the book is carried anecdotally, by wonderful stories. . . Fortey gives us a vivid virtual tour of the museum's hidden stores and retired displays. . . . it is a book filled with a passion for nature and pride in an institution that has done so much to compile its inventory. Fortey is a knowledgeable guide, with a keen eye and gentle humour."—Evening Standard --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Détails sur le produit


En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Découvrez des livres, informez-vous sur les écrivains, lisez des blogs d'auteurs et bien plus encore.

Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
Parcourir les pages échantillon
Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
Rechercher dans ce livre:

Commentaires en ligne 

Il n'y a pas encore de commentaires clients sur Amazon.fr
5 étoiles
4 étoiles
3 étoiles
2 étoiles
1 étoiles
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  16 commentaires
24 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Museum, the Scientists and their Specimens 8 octobre 2008
Par Daniel Allie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
About a month ago, (September 2008) I had a chance to hear Richard Fortey himself lecturing about this book. The lecture, very fittingly, was happening in a natural history museum. As his lecture unfolded, I found myself with many of the most interesting characters that have ever contributed to natural history, both famous and obscure. I also learned about what goes on behind the scenes of the museum, and of some of the many interesting and strange specimens which are not on display, such as an "accursed amethyst" and the famous rock from Mars which is said by some to contain fossils. After the lecture was over, I went home and started reading the book, and found the written account of these things and people to be just as engaging as it was to hear Richard Fortey speaking. It is like recieving your own guided tour through the Natural History Museum of London, and even through the history of natural history. Richard Fortey shows that scientists can be very eccentric and unusual characters, in spite of their stereotype of being very dry and boring. All in all, this is an excellent book which chronicles the history of the museum, the people who make it go, and the specimens which are stored inside it. I recommend this book to anyone who has wondered what goes on inside the hearts of museums, and also to people who are interested in natural history. You will finish this book knowing much about the "behind the scenes" of museums.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 6 mars 2009
Par John Lynch - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I've had the pleasure of working behind the scenes in a number of natural history museums. While a grad student, I had an office in the Natural History Museum in Dublin, spent a good deal of time every year in the collections of the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, and a month at the Natural History Museum in London. As anyone who has spent time behind the scenes will tell you, not only are all the really cool specimens kept away from public view, but museums are populated with some very strange people! Richard Fortey's latest book offers a wonderfully entertaining and evocative depiction of life in the London museum. He covers the the history of the museum and its collections, the people, and the political skirmishes as administrators wrestled control of the museum away from the scientists and into the hands of businessmen.

Fortey's central message is important: the sort of basic (often morphological) systematic and taxonomic work that is being done in museums is important and should not be diminished by administrators' love of "sexy" techniques or charismatic taxa. Our intellectual landscape is being shrunken by the ever-increasing trend to turn museums into sites of performance and tourism rather than of research.

Those familiar with museums will recognize many archetypal figures. Members of the public will get a wonderful insight into what goes on behind the scenes. I highly recommend this book.
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "Did you have a nice week with the troglodytes, dear?" 18 janvier 2009
Par Bart King - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Richard Fortey is also the author of Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution. This has some bearing on this wonderful book because of passages like this:
***
It might seem an odd ambition to try to get everyone to pronounce a word correctly. But mine has always been to get the world to say "trilobite" without fudging, and with a certain measure of understanding. My own mother was wont to say "troglodyte," which at least has a certain prehistoric dimension, even if it refers to human cave dwellers rather than extinct arthropods several hundred million years older than humans.

"Did you have a nice week with the troglodytes, dear?" was one of her regular enquiries.
***
As this (hopefully) illustrates, Fortey is a capable and humorous guide, one who can impart information without the reader minding it a bit. And this book isn't just about hidden exhibits and research. Some of its most fascinating specimens are the humans who work behind the scenes.

One of Fortey's particular strengths is what I call the "Doug Henning Superpower." Older readers may remember Doug Henning as a tie-dyed magician with big hair. Although he should have been aggravating, Henning was able to look as amazed as his audiences at the wonders he wrought onstage. Fortey has this ability as well; he is a guide who takes us behind the scenes of the Natural History Museum with a convincing demeanor of excitement and wonder.

And it's contagious!
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating and Witty 21 septembre 2011
Par RyanS93 - Publié sur Amazon.com
I actually received this book as a gift from my former biology teacher. Biology and the such isn't my favorite subject but I enjoy learning about it, and so was interested in reading this book. I (and many others I'm sure) expected this book to be rather like a textbook or encyclopedia (to play on the title, be "dry") but I was pleasantly surprised. Fortey manages to introduce a wealth of genuinely fascinating information about the museum, its eccentric scientists, and the many specimens they studied while being humorous and entertaining at the same time. I learned an incredible amount about species I never knew existed, how taxonomy and its related methods work, and lots about the museum itself. Fortey tells many stories about himself and his coworkers, and really shows the genius of the scientists who do all of this incredible research. His humor and wit are sure to make you smile while reading it, and keeps you interested in it for the entire length. I never thought I would enjoy a book like this about natural history and a museum, loaded with technical information, but due to Fortey's writing talent I did. Overall, an excellent read and highly recommended.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Anything but dry 6 janvier 2009
Par Patricia A. Folley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
"Dry Storeroom No. 1" is a lively, gossipy memoir of the author's lifetime working at the British Museum. I was intrigued by the resemblance of the characters to some of those I have myself experienced in working at a very different kind of museum. The author has managed to capture the humanity of his fellow-workers while sharing also their contributions to human understanding of the earth.
Ces commentaires ont-ils été utiles ?   Dites-le-nous

Discussions entre clients

Le forum concernant ce produit
Discussion Réponses Message le plus récent
Pas de discussions pour l'instant

Posez des questions, partagez votre opinion, gagnez en compréhension
Démarrer une nouvelle discussion
Thème:
Première publication:
Aller s'identifier
 

Rechercher parmi les discussions des clients
Rechercher dans toutes les discussions Amazon
   


Rechercher des articles similaires par rubrique


Commentaires

Souhaitez-vous compléter ou améliorer les informations sur ce produit ? Ou faire modifier les images?