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History of China's early museums

Updated: 2018-07-24 09:12:56

( China Daily )

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The specimen and skull of a leopard collected in East China's Fujian province in 1909 is displayed at an ongoing exhibition at the Shanghai History Museum. [PHOTO BY GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY]

"We have not only brought out the original specimen and objects from the former Royal Asiatic Society, but also arranged the exhibition according to historical documents and pictures," says Huang Ji, curator of the exhibition, and a scholar with the Shanghai Museum of Natural History.

For example, the first specimen of the giant panda is exhibited in a "scenic box" that imitates the original dwelling environment of the animal, just like it was displayed in the original museum of NCBRAS.

"The exhibition has been designed to create an experience reminiscent of the original NCBRAS museum," he said. Visitors can also download mobile applications to their smartphones to enjoy an interactive experience to learn about the exhibits and museum history.

"The original building of the Asiatic Society museum is now occupied, so we can't have the exhibition in the original location," says Wang Xiaoming, director of Shanghai History Museum. "A historical piece of architecture built in the 1930s, our museum is an ideal venue to reproduce the original environment."

The museum of NCBRAS "was one of the first museums in China," says Yang Zhigang, director of Shanghai Museum. "The basic functions of a proper museum, which were exhibition, research and collection, had all been realized at that time."

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