An Infinity of Things: How Sir Henry Wellcome Collected the World

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OUP Oxford, Sep 10, 2009 - History - 368 pages
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An Infinity of Things tells the story of one of the largest private collections ever created, and the life of the man behind it. Wellcome planned a great museum filled with treasures from all corners of the globe, charting the history of human health from prehistory to the present day. The breadth of his vision was matched only by the depth of his pockets. During the opening decades of the twentieth century he acquired a collection so large that later generations of staff took to describing its contents by the ton. But Wellcome's museum was never finished, and his collection was still stored in vast warehouses when he died, unseen and incomplete. Today, after decades of work by his successors, artefacts from the collection can be seen in museums and libraries throughout the world. Demonstrating what can happen when a collector's aspirations are left unconstrained by wealth, Frances Larson explores Wellcome's life through his possessions, revealing the many tensions in his character: between his talents as a businessman and his desire for scholarly recognition; his curiosity and his perfectionism; and his philanthropic aspirations and his drive for personal glory.
 

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Contents

CHAPTER TENTHE FINEST HISTORICAL MEDICAL MUSEUM IN THE WORLD
CHAPTER ELEVENWHEN THE WHOLE IS COMPLETE IT WILL BE AN EXACT FACSIMILE OF THE ORIGINAL
CHAPTER TWELVETHIS IS THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE
CHAPTER THIRTEENALL TIED UP IN KNOTS
CHAPTER FOURTEENWE NEED VERY COMPLETE COLLECTIONS OF ALL THEIR FABRICATIONS
CHAPTER FIFTEENTHIS INTERNATIONAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM
IV LEGACIES
CHAPTER SIXTEENSHELVE IT

II TACTICS
CHAPTER FIVEAN HISTORICAL EXHIBITION OF RARE AND CURIOUS OBJECTS
CHAPTER SIXEXCUSE ME MR TREVE
CHAPTER SEVENFELLOW FEELING AS A COLLECTOR
CHAPTER EIGHTTHE WHOLE OF INDIA SHOULD BE RANSACKED
CHAPTER NINEAN IMPOSSIBLE MAN TO DEAL WITH
III OUTCOMES
CHAPTER SEVENTEENINGRAINED HABITS OF CAUTIOUSNESS
CHAPTER EIGHTEENSIR HENRY WELLCOME IS DEAD
CHAPTER NINETEENHONOUR TO WHOM HONOUR IS DUE
NOTES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX
Copyright

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