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Lovers of music can peruse a wide variety of artifacts from the world of classical music at the Royal Academy of Music Museum. Managed by the Royal Academy of Music, this museum is a vast space spread across three stories. Along with traveling exhibits, the museum houses a permanent collection of displays. They include the 'Strings gallery' with more than 250 instruments including a violin from 1890, the 'Piano gallery' which records the history and advancement of the instrument and the 'Treasures of the Academy'. The museum conducts various workshops for visitors of various age groups. Visit this place of melodies and get enriched with classical music knowledge.
This museum offers visitors a glimpse into the life and times of famed 18th-century composer George Frideric Handel. The home has been lovingly restored, complete with artifacts, documents and architectural elements that speak of the bygone era during which Handel penned so many masterworks. The Handel House Museum hosts a series of lectures, workshops, concerts and gallery-style exhibitions, fodder for history and music buffs alike. See website for events calendar and complete visitor particulars.
At the heart of the British Museum lies the most grand libraries of its time. It was known as the center of learning throughout the year and was originally built by Antonio Panizzi in the early 1850's. This huge circular library was designed by Sydney Smirke and was inspired by the Roman Pantheon. Iron book shelves were built and the room was filled with the greatest treasure of literary works. The room is said to have been used by notable historic figures like Mark Twain, Mahatma Gandhi, Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Rudyard Kipling and Virginia Wolf to name a few. Today, the books have been shifted to the new British Library building. The room was used as a rental space for exhibitions.
Charles Dickens' novels famously chronicled the lives and dramas of 19th century London in the throes of the industrial revolution, and his portrayal of slums and workhouses drew on his own family's experiences of poverty and debt. The drawing room of the Dickens' House where he held literary salons has been lovingly restored, and elsewhere you can view all manner of Dickens paraphernalia including personal letters and notes as well as manuscripts and first editions of his books.
Dr Samuel Johnson, the compiler of the first ever dictionary of the English language, lived here from 1748 to 1759. Opened to the public for the first time in 1912, and having survived several near misses during the Blitz, Dr Johnson's House has been restored to its original condition, including paneled rooms, a pine staircase and a collection of period furniture, prints and portraits. The house is nestled in a maze of courtyards and passages that are reminiscent of historic London.
Established in 1896 soon after the writer's death, Carlyle's House is one of the oldest literary museums in London, so the original decor and furnishings as well as many personal items have been preserved. The Scottish-born historian Thomas Carlyle, who is best known for his history of the French Revolution, moved to this typical tall and thin townhouse in the early part of the Victorian era when Chelsea was still largely undeveloped and unfashionable. Carlyle wrote his monumental tomes in the attic, which he had soundproofed against the noise of his neighbors. He and his wife lived a life full of anecdote and incident and there is much here to delight both those with an interest in literary history and those with an enthusiasm for Victorian interiors.
Musical Museum, the delightful and unusual museum houses one of the world's foremost collections of automatic musical instruments. It's staffed by friendly, informative and enthusiastic volunteers, who hold regular tours introducing and demonstrating an impressive array of self-playing instruments, from the "Mighty Wurlitzer" that accompanied silent movies, down to the tiniest clockwork musical boxes. You'll be entertained by working gramophones, orchestrations, violin players, resident organs and sophisticated reproducing pianos, with detailed and often humorous explanations to accompany the various sounds. Upstairs in this brand-new building there's a fully-functioning concert hall, which recreates an Art Deco 1930s cinema auditorium; this is available for conferences and social events. Entirely self-funding, this quirky museum is a intriguing treat for music lovers of all ages.