Liverpool Museum Celebrates being 150 Years Old

Sir William Brown, played by World Museum’s resident actor Paul Netterfield cuts the cake for Holy Cross pupils
Sir William Brown, played by World Museum’s resident actor Paul Netterfield cuts the cake for Holy Cross pupils


World Museum Liverpool celebrates its 150th anniversary with a series of exiting events this weekend for all the family, reflecting the international status of its collections from all over the world.

Liverpool merchant Sir William Brown opened the Liverpool Museum (as it was then called) before a vast crowd on 18 October 1860.

The museum was hugely popular from the very start. It replaced the two-roomed Derby Museum in Duke Street opened in 1853 to house the natural history collection of Edward Smith Stanley 13th Earl of Derby.

Liverpool Museum was destroyed in the May Blitz 1941 and remained a blackened, roofless shell apart from one gallery until rebuilt and reopened by Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1966.

It became the World Museum in 2005, doubling in size after a massive £35 million renovation and expansion into the former technical college next door.

Generations of visitors have flocked into the museum to marvel at its stunning collections, most of which survived the bombing after being carefully stored. Exhibits include everything from tiny beetles and ancient ornaments to huge statues and a towering totem pole.

The Ancient Egypt gallery displays some of the treasures of the museum’s world-class collections. The museum pioneered education programmes and this continues to this day.

Other attractions in the new museum include the Clore Natural History Centre and Bug House, Weston Discovery Centre, Treasure House Theatre and World Cultures gallery.

Steve Judd, World Museum director, says: “This is an important milestone for one of Europe’s great museums and we are marking it in style.

“World Museum continues to grow not only in popularity but in the prestige and quality of its collections and research.”

The anniversary has been marked with a display in the museum entrance and the publication of a specially-written 140-page history on the web site.

Sir William Brown (1784 – 1864) paid for the construction of the original museum in William Brown Street, named in his honour.

Anniversary events over this weekend Saturday and Sunday 16 and 17 October 2010 include:

* Meet William Brown’ – discover exciting facts about the history of the museum.
* Birthday Craft Activities – Drop in sessions suitable for all ages

11.00 – 4.00 Birthday card making – Savannah Level 4

11.00 – 4.00 Badge making – Savannah Level 4

11.00 – 4.00 Party hat making – World Cultures Gallery Level

* Museum Timeline – Major events in our 150 year history – Atrium
* Memory Wall – Please post your memories of World Museum onto our memory wall – Savannah Level 4
* Building Heritage Tour – Fascinating facts about the architecture and history of our museum building. Tours last 45 mins. Suitable for over 12s, numbers limited. Please book free ticket at Information Desk 11.00 & 2.00 Atrium
* Some of our Favourite Things – Discover some of our Curators’ favourite Natural History items on display in the Clore Natural History Centre Level 2
* Sharks! – Discover if sharks are as scary as you think. Fun activities celebrating European Shark Week.  Drop in sessions suitable for all ages. 2.00 – 4.00 Clore Natural History Centre Level 2
* Gory Stories – Join author John Mayhew as he tells traditional spooky stories and ballads with musical accompaniment. Drop in sessions suitable for children. 1.00 – 4.00 Weston Discovery Centre Level 3
* Birthday Presents – Recent additions to our collections from the Caribbean. Atrium Treasures Case
* Birthday Talk – Join one of our curators and explore the stories behind our African collections. Suitable for all ages, please book free ticket at Information Desk.

3.00 (Saturday only) World Cultures Gallery Level 3