Your inclusion of the people at different locations within the British Museum of Natural History helps with the scale of the interior view. I also like the manner in which the light plays across the interior highlighting various portions of the walls and stairs.
Lovely. Such history. I wonder if that beautiful and enlightening ray of light could have struck Darwin or Newton. Or maybe even Tarzan?
But no, I see on Wikipedia that this building went up in the late 1800s.
I thought this was interesting:
Most of the Sloane collection had disappeared by the early decades of the nineteenth century. Sir George Shaw (Keeper of Zoology 1806-13) sold many specimens to the Royal College of Surgeons. His successor William Elford Leach made periodical bonfires in the grounds of the museum. In 1833 the Annual Report states that, of the 5,500 insects listed in the Sloane catalogue, none remained. The inability of the natural history departments to conserve its specimens became notorious: the Treasury refused to entrust it with specimens collected at the government's expense. Appointments of staff were bedevilled by gentlemanly favoritism; in 1862 a nephew of the mistress of a Trustee was appointed Entomological Assistant despite not knowing the difference between a butterfly and a moth.
J. E. Gray (Keeper of Zoology 1840-74) complained of the incidence of mental illness amongst staff: George Shaw threatened to put his foot on any shell not in the 12th edition of Linnaeus' Systema Naturae; another had removed all the labels and registration numbers from entomological cases arranged by a rival. The huge collection of conchologist Hugh Cuming was acquired by the museum, and Gray's own wife had carried the open trays across the courtyard in a gale: all the labels blew away. That collection is said never to have recovered.
The Principal Librarian at the time was Antonio Panizzi; his contempt for the natural history departments and for science in general was total. The general public was not encouraged to visit the Museum's natural history exhibits. In 1835 to a Select Committee of Parliament, Sir Henry Ellis said this policy was fully approved by the Principal Librarian and his senior colleagues.