Height: 81.000 mm
Width: 78.000 mm
Archives CE114592 (York Album)
Frederick York, The Eastern Zoological Gallery , a photograph
The British Museum, London, around AD 1875
The birds and the beasts
The Eastern Zoological Gallery used to be above the King's Library in the East Wing of the Museum. The zoological collections were displayed here from 1838 until they moved to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington during the early 1880s. The Museum's collection of portrait paintings were displayed above the wall cases. Many of these transferred to the National Portrait Gallery in 1877.
The gallery, with its shells and molluscs, deer antlers, and rhinoceros horns, was very popular with visitors. A large collection of preserved birds filled many of the exhibition cases, ranging from strange looking birds with exotic plumage to more familiar types which could be seen in London and the surrounding countryside. In the hot summer months the gallery was less enjoyable; the smell of camphor from the collections and the lack of ventilation overcame many visitors in this crowded space.