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The Science Museum

Nature volume 134, page 210 (11 August 1934) | Download Citation



IN its annual reports to the Board of Education, the Advisory Council of the Science Museum, while giving a general review of the progress of the Museum as a whole, has usually devoted special consideration to one of the divisions, directing attention to the gaps in its collections and indicating how the col lections should be developed. In its report for 1933, the Council has therefore dealt with the important sections Water and Air Transport, and its remarks go to show that unless steps are taken there is likely to be wasteful rivalry between the Science Museum and other museums supported by the State. Some of the aeronautical exhibits, the report says, are on loan from the Imperial War Museum and others from the Air Ministry. When the War Museum moves to its new quarters at Bethlem it may wish to withdraw its exhibits, while the Air Ministry is contemplating setting up a museum of its own. “This would inevitably create three exhibitions of aviation, each incomplete, and in competition with one another.” The creation of the War Museum has already had an unfortunate effect on the Water Transport Collections, for as a result of its inauguration “practically no models of men-of-war of the period between 1914 and 1920 are available, and consequently the collection in the Science Museum is completely truncated. It is regrettable,” the report says, “that in this, as in other cases, national collections of the same subject matter should be split up between different Museums, and thus lose much of their educative value to the public.” Another rival of the Science Museum, not referred to in the report, may well be the National Maritime Museum, which must almost inevitably encroach on some of the territory already occupied by the Science Museum.

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