"Wellcome said his aim in collecting was to "bring together a collection of historical objects illustrating the development of the art and science of healing throughout the ages....Most of the anthropological material possesses strong medical significance, for in all the ages the preservation of health and life has been uppermost in the minds of living beings"
...With this view of medicine, it was natural that Wellcome's original concept of a Historical Medical Museum should broaden into that of a 'Museum of Man' - a reconstruction of every stage in humankind’s development by means of objects. Pieced together, he intended them to form a three-dimensional book presenting an all-encompassing history of humankind’s fight for survival through the ages....
Wellcome always held firmly to the belief that study of the past can inform and shape the future. He therefore saw his Historical Medical Museum as a venue for serious research, and said he did not want "stragglers" or "those who wish to view strange and curious objects" in his museum. Admission was mainly restricted to the medical and allied professions, and visitors had to apply to visit the Museum in writing. As a result, visitor numbers to Wigmore Street were low.
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