museums of science

European Museums

Pioneers in the field of applied science include the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers (the first industrial museum, est. 1799) and the Palais de la Découverte, both in Paris; the Science Museum, London; and the Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany. Many private museums with unique collections have been established. The first of these, dating from 1916, was a button museum in Prague. Other notable specialized museums are the museums of oceanography in Monaco and in Berlin and the Jurassic Museum of Asturias in Colunga, Spain. Most of the principal countries have national science museums or strong science collections in general museums. In London are the great natural history collection of the British Museum, housed in South Kensington, and the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, with its Hunterian Collection. Other noted science museums in Europe include Norway's Bergen Museum; the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm; the National Museum, Copenhagen; the Rijksmuseum, Leiden, Netherlands, noted for its departments of geology, mineralogy, and zoology; the University Museum, Amsterdam; the Natural History Museum, Vienna; the Natural History Museum (Jardin des Plantes), Paris; and the Kunstkammer of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg. Germany has many excellent science museums in its cities and universities, and many Italian universities are noted for their science collections.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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