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'Why Is This Here?' display at the Whipple Museum.

Why is This Here? Exploring the curious and controversial in the Whipple Museum's collection

Here's a question most museum-goers don't often ask: why is this here? And for good reason. Museums tend to display their best stuff: beautiful artworks, valuable antiques, important artefacts. The reason such objects are on display is usually pretty obvious.

But venture into a museum's store and you find a different story. The people who work behind the scenes in the Whipple Museum can often be heard muttering to themselves: "why is this here??" A tennis ball; 140-year-old vials of dirty brown sludge; cheap plastic protractors: these and many other objects make up the hidden side of our collection. This display, in our Main Gallery, asks staff and scholars from the Whipple Museum and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science to pick their favourite WTH? objects, to help us explore why we collect these unusual and not always obviously 'scientific' artefacts.

Please take a look at the Learning section of our website.

The Whipple Museum holds an outstanding collection of scientific instruments and models relating to astronomy, navigation, surveying, calculating, medicine and much more. From school sessions to family drop in activities and adult lectures, the Whipple's educational programme can offer something to visitors of all ages and interests.

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