Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/496

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

could see was very disappointing. Its collection of mounted birds, though containing much that was typical, rare, and interesting, was in the individual defects of a large proportion of its specimens in painful contrast to the private one of the Milanese banker. The collections of eggs were not arranged, and had not been procured with any special care. They seemed to have been all accumulated by chance donations, and required an immediate and very careful revision. It is, however, but justice to say that, since the zo├Âlogical portion of the museum has been under the charge of Mr. Sharpe, a systematic rearrangement has been begun, and, so far as it has proceeded, is a great improvement. When the natural history portion of the museum is removed to Kensington, and rearranged in the new building in the course of construction, it is to be hoped that the managers of this institution will avail themselves of their great opportunities, now so strangely neglected, and render this branch of the British Museum better worthy of being the one national museum of a great empire. The contrast between the Museum of London and that of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, or that of Liverpool, cannot but be painful to the national pride of a true English naturalist.

For popular attractions, for general excellence of arrangement, and expedients for the instruction and education of the people in natural history, the Derby Museum, or, as it is now called, the Free Public Museum of Liverpool, far surpasses anything of its kind. It was founded by an ancestor of the present Lord Derby, and is under the admirable direction of Mr. Thomas J. Moore; but it would extend this paper too far to point out the excellence of its various devices for popular instruction. Here you can see the external form of bird or animal, and next to it its own skeleton, so that the bony frame and the outward appearance may be studied at the same moment. In one compartment are a full-grown lion and lioness, and with them young lions of various ages, from the tender nursling to the nearly full-grown whelp. In another compartment is well represented water in which appear disporting various forms of swimming-birds, old and young, demonstrating to the observer their position, when swimming, both above and below the surface. The collections are large and varied, and so arranged as to attract and educate the visitors.

In conclusion, only brief mention can be made of a few of the private collections of natural history in which England abounds. In his private apartments in Hanover Square, London, Prof. Osbert Salvin, of Cambridge University, stores his rich collections of birds, and eggs, and insects, gathered by himself in Central America. They are especially abounding in specimens from Guatemala, are admirably arranged, and well worthy of careful study. Howard Saunders, Esq., who makes the families of gulls and terns his especial study, possesses collections that are indescribably interesting. They consist of the birds (with their eggs) of Europe, together with exotic representatives of the two fam-