A boundlessly fascinating inventory of sixty never-before-seen "treasures too precious to display," culled from the archives and secret storage locations of some of the world's top cultural institutions. (Maria Popova Brain Pickings.com
The Secret Museum is a collection of stories, not only of 60 strange and interesting objects but also of the museums that house them and the collectors and curators who care for them. (Oldfield) shares her enthusiasm for rare, forgotten, nostalgic, grisly, and beautiful objects... She has a knack for finding little-known stories, such as the history of Vladimir Nabokov's butterfly collection or exactly how fragile space suits are stored... Each entry can be understood on its own, so the volume is a pleasure to dip into... An excellent work for any museum or library patron, younger reader or adult, who is a history buff. (Jessica Spears, Monroe College Library, Bronx, NY Library Journal
Those who love secrets, museums or just a twisty tale of the entirely true variety will enjoy The Secret Museum. (Aaron Blanton January Magazine
A treasure in itself, Oldfield's book entices readers to discover a wide variety of little-known and rarely seen artifacts that lie hidden away in vaults, warehouses and archives in zoological, anthropological, scientific, historic, literary and artistic museums around the world. In her travels, she connects with experts who provide the context needed to make the treasures come alive. In her very readable, enthusiastic, and often amusing style, Oldfield describes each discovery in a way that takes it from a formal introduction to an intimate encounter... Oldfield introduces readers to objects few people outside of researchers and curators will ever see. Because of security risks, fragility, size, pricelessness or the need for a controlled environment, unless specifically ferreted out, these treasures will remain unknowns. Oldfield's collection is an absolute must for anyone with a nose for secrets and treasures. (Publishers Weekly Web Exclusive
About the Author
Molly Oldfield, who considers herself a museumphile, has been a writer and researcher for the landmark BBC1 program QI (Quite Interesting), presented by Stephen Fry. She writes a weekly QI column in the Saturday Telegraph and researches QI's sister Radio 4 program, The Museum of Curiosity.