World Museum is a large museum in Liverpool, England which has extensive collections covering archaeology, ethnology and the natural and physical sciences. Special attractions include the Natural History Centre and a free Planetarium. Entry to the museum itself is also free. The museum is part of National Museums Liverpool. The museum has recently undergone extensive refurbishment in order to double the size of the display spaces, making even more of the collections accessible for visitors.
Major new galleries include World Cultures, the Bug House and the Weston Discovery Centre. A central entrance hall and six-storey atrium opened in 2005. On reopening after this refurbishment and extension the museum's name changed from its previous title of Liverpool Museum, which it had held since its establishment at its current William Brown Street site in 1860. The museum was originally started as the Derby Museum as it comprised the Earl of Derby's natural history collection.
The museum opened originally in 1851, sharing two rooms on Duke Street with a library. However, the museum proved extremely popular and a new, purpose-built building was required. Land for the new building on a street then known as Shaw's Brow opposite St. George's Hall was donated by local MP and Merchant William Brown, as was much of the funding for the building which would be known as the William Brown Library and Museum. Around 400,000 people attended the opening of the new building in 1860.