Collections have been at the heart of UCL from its very beginning; objects and artefacts to be seen and examined by students and the wider public for learning and inspiration. Only a fraction of the third of a million objects and specimens in UCL's collections can be seen in the university's museums and galleries, and the collections continue to grow.
The objects themselves reflect the breadth of UCL's academic disciplines, with ancient artefacts appearing beside zoological specimens and the results of pioneering research in science and engineering. Some objects have been acquired expressly for teaching students, others were created through the research of an individual academic, and others still were dug from the ground in far-off places. All contribute to the diversity, range, and quality of the collections.
At a time when UCL's museums are pioneering new and innovative ways to learn from objects, this book is a celebration of their unique collections, with leading academics from the university invited to select and write about an object each found inspiring. From a jar of moles to an Egyptian unguent spoon, a finger X-ray to some prehistoric cereal grains, their choices were often surprising, their responses always fascinating.