- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
“The Natural History Museum is, first and foremost, a celebration of what time has done to life,” writes Fortey, whose engaging book similarly commemorates the vast record of life on Earth. As he meanders through the halls of the museum’s back rooms, Fortey proves to be an excellent, witty guide to the scientists and specimens that give testament to this history. Far from being a dry read, Dry Storeroom No. 1 weaves together colorful anecdotes about the scientists, their research, and the value of museums, defending evolution while admitting how much we still don’t know about the Earth’s species (starting with beetles, for example). A few critics pointed out that Fortey errs on the side of including too much information, but most readers will embrace his guide to, well, everything having to do with life.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
Fortey, senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London and author (Life, 1999; Trilobite! 2000), here turns his eye to the inner workings of a natural history museum. Though a paleontologist and an expert on trilobites, Fortey looks at all of the major departments of the museum, examining how they work, providing brief backgrounds on the sciences themselves, and telling stories of many of the museum’s scientists both past and present. Explaining how science works through his stories from the museum, Fortey tells of truffles and how they illustrate the science of taxonomy; the Piltdown Man fraud and how more modern techniques exposed the hoax; how one of the ichthyologists found a lost Mozart manuscript while searching for a sixteenth-century book’s illustration of a herring; and how the “First Law of Museums”—never throw anything away—turned up a cast of the Koh-i-noor diamond made before it was recut. Well illustrated with photos, this chatty book meanders from tale to tale in the endlessly fascinating manner of a good storyteller. --Nancy BentSee all Editorial Reviews
We can be glad that Richard Fortey doesn't turn his nose up at gossip. This book is a double treat. You learn some neat facts about natural history and the history of science, and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Diane Hinckley
What a service a dear friend and librarian did when she discovered this fascinating, detailed and very humorous book and sent it to me as a gift. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Bernard Ewell, author of ARTFUL DODGERS: FRAUD AND FOOLISHNESS IN THE ART MARKET
Fascinating look into a world we don't get to see.
Our guide is a charming scientist who loves his world and helps us enjoy his world.
fortey has a wonderful grasp of the English language & can explain the complexities of geology etc in terms that ordinary folk can understand. Read morePublished on June 14, 2013 by David Le Bas
So fun to read. This book totally reignites my childhood dream of being in a museum. Lots of good information too.Published on January 2, 2013 by Alyssa
I like Richard Fortey's books. I haven't found a one that I have not enjoyed. This is because he is a good writer. Read morePublished on July 16, 2012 by J. Hundley
It is remarkable that a paleontologist who spent a career in The British Museum assured his readers that the most famous fossil of all, with type material in that very museum, was... Read morePublished on October 1, 2011 by Nom de plume
Having only been able to make one short visit to this wonderful museum I was extremely happy to get a guided tour in book form, one that takes me through both the current museum... Read morePublished on November 15, 2009 by Terry Sofian
"Dry Storeroom No. 1" is a lively, gossipy memoir of the author's lifetime working at the British Museum. Read morePublished on January 6, 2009 by Patricia A. Folley