Housed in the glorious sandstone university building, which is in itself reason enough to pay a visit, this quirky museum contains the collection of renowned one-time student William Hunter (1718–83). Hunter was primarily an anatomist and physician, but as one of those wonderfully well-rounded Enlightenment figures, he interested himself in everything the world had to offer.
Pickled organs in glass jars take their place alongside geological phenomena, potsherds gleaned from ancient brochs, dinosaur skeletons and a creepy case of deformed animals. The main halls of the exhibition, with their high vaulted roofs, are magnificent in themselves. Highlights include a display of artefacts from the Antonine Wall and the beautiful 1674 Chinese Map of the Whole World produced for the emperor by a Jesuit at the court.
This collection will perhaps become part of the new museum at Kelvin Hall but probably not until at least 2023.