Geology museums of Britain: The Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton

Jon Trevelyan (UK) Fig. 1. A group of German schoolchildren enjoy a day out at the museum. Those of you with a long memory (and an admirable loyalty to Deposits magazine) may remember that, several years ago, I produced a few articles on British geology museums, including the National Stone Centre in Derbyshire and Whitby Museum (the latter jointly with Dean Lomax). I have recently been spending some time working in the seaside town of Brighton and decided to reacquaint myself with the Booth Museum of Natural History, an to write about this quaint little gem. Fig. 2. The rows of cabinets containing the Victorian taxidermy of collector, Edward Booth. I am not entirely comfortable with the rows of cabinets full of stuffed animals containing the collection of Victorian taxidermy of collector, Edward Booth (Fig. 2) after whom the museum is named, but it is not that that attracts me to the museum. Rather, it is a smallish backroom housing a collection of geology – found predominantly in Sussex, but also elsewhere in Britain and the world. Fig. 3. A large set of gypsum crystals among other mineral exhibits at the museum. While there are iguanodontid dinosaur bones from Sussex on show, there are also large mineralogical and sedimentological specimens (and apparently petrological slides in a microscopy section, which I was not aware existed). There is also material from the elephant beds beneath Brighton, with ice age mammal fossils and subfossils. Fig. 4. Echinoids: Stereocidaris sceptrifera (left), Tylocidaris clavigera (middle) … Read More

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