The Alfred Denny Museum

February 22, 2013

Alfred Denny Museum in the 1930sSince opening its doors to students in 1905, the Alfred Denny Zoology Museum at Sheffield University remained a largely unknown cabinet of curiosities in the north of England – Until September 2012, when it opened to the public, and delights such as Arthur the Half-Hedgehog, fossilised flying dinousaurs, the Terror Bird and a model skull of an extinct giant eagle were revealed to many for the first time.

Created by the University’s first professor of biology, Alfred Denny, the collection has enhanced the knowledge of undergraduates at the university for over a hundred years. All major animal groups are represented, along with rare glass lantern slides donated by famed microscopist Henry Clifton Sorby, who developed a pioneering technique of mounting marine animals on thin sheets of glass, meaning they could be projected onto a viewing screen.

The museum also holds two letters written by Charles Darwin to Alfred Denny’s father, William, which can be viewed in transcription here

As of 2013, the museum is open to the public on a regular basis. You can find out more about the University’s Animal and Plant Sciences department here.


Leonard Eastham with primate skeletons

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