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On 4 April 1678 Hester Pookes Tradescant was found drowned in her own shallow pond at South Lambeth. With her death the final obstacle was cleared for her neighbor, Elias Ashmole, "the greatest virtuoso and curioso that ever was known or read of in England before his time," to assume possession of the collections that had once populated Tradescant's Ark-collections built over generations by the John Tradescants, father and son-collections, which, amassed as a subsidiary exercise to their chosen botanical efforts, brought together an exceptional assortment of rarities celebrated in an era already known for the curious and peculiar. Ashmole, having befriended the less fashionable John and Hester Tradescant, secured from the couple a deed of gift for the collections. Although in subsequent years the Tradescants attempted to rescind the deed, Ashmole, a barrister, had written the document in such a meticulous fashion that on 18 May 1664, the Court of Chancery found that he (Ashmole) should "have and enjoy all and singular the said Bookes, Coynes, Medalls, Stones, Pictures, Mechanicks and Antiquities belonging to the collection." Hester Tradescant was to keep them in trust during the short period that remained in her life, as provided in the deed. Shortly after Hester Tradescant's unexplained drowning Elias Ashmole, as sole donor, presented to his honored mother, the University of Oxford, the collections that were to form the seed of the renowned cultural institution that now bears his name..

In 1998, The Museum of Jurassic Technology found itself in a curiously comparable situation. The owners of the buildings in which the Museum and its collections have been housed for the past decade resolved to dispose of the property and (based on the Museum's long standing lease and the considerable improvements made by the Museum to the buildings over the period of occupancy) offered the property for sale to the Museum. For the fair and reasonable price of $1,000,000 the owners offered to sell the four buildings and adjoining lot totaling some 15,625 sq. ft. of exterior and 12,000 sq. ft. of interior space. After prompt but proper consideration, the Trustees of the Museum determined that the decision to remain in the current buildings at the current location was the only prudent course and accordingly resolved to raise the funds necessary to steer this chosen course. As of March, 2000, the Museum is pleased to be able to report that it successfully raised one half of the purchase price, and obtained a loan for the second half.  This astonishing acheivment for a Museum of this size is due entirely to the generosity of several charitable foundations and the many checks and notes of encouragement offered up by our patrons and donors.  The task is not yet complete, as the loan will come due in 2005.  In addition, capital funds are required to renovate the property into exhibition space, as well as strengthen the infrastructure of the building.  To this end, the Museum  continues its appeal for donations to preserve and improve the Museum of Jurassic Technology as a unique cultural refuge for this city and for the broader general good.  Please mail your contribution of any amount to the following address, or contact the Museum at (310) 836-6131 or museumjt@rhythm.com for credit card donations, or with any questions.

All donors will be made members of the Museum.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology
9341 Venice Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

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©2000 The Museum Of Jurassic Technology, 9341 Venice Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232