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The Nature of Things: Stories from the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

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Press release,

The Nature of Things is a book that bridges nature and culture. It contains over one hundred entertaining and informative stories, told from a wide variety of perspectives, about objects in the collection of the Museum für Naturkunde. Many of these objects are the subject of ongoing research and all of them are accessible to the public. It is a book for our times, a compelling work dedicated to nature and the people working to conserve it. The German version has long been one of the museum’s bestsellers, and the new, updated and expanded edition is now available in English as well.

Medieval meteorites, giant dinosaur skeletons, frogs preserved in alcohol and DNA samples from bats. These are just some of the 30 million things the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin holds in its collections.

Each of these objects has a story to tell – of expeditions and accidental finds, of insights gained and mistakes made, of personal experiences and treasured memories. Over eighty authors tell their stories of objects they find particularly fascinating. The result testifies to how creative museums can be in the presentation and interpretation of their collections.

The book contains contributions from natural scientists, cultural theorists and artists, as well as personal recollections from staff members and visitors, including Mark Benecke, Yoko Tawada, Hanns Zischler and many more.

The English edition, The Nature of Things: Stories from a Natural History Museum (304 p.), is published by Dietrich Reimer Verlag. Both it and the German edition are available in print and as e-books at bookstores and in the museum shop online.

Wissensdinge. Geschichten aus dem Naturkundemuseum.
Herausgegeben von Anita Hermannstädter, Ina Heumann und Kerstin Pannhorst.
Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 2021 (304 S.), 29,90 Euro

The Nature of Things. Stories from a Natural History Museum.
Edited by Anita Hermannstädter, Ina Heumann and Kerstin Pannhorst, translated by Patricia Newman.
Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 2021 (304 p.), 29,90 Euro

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