This book has argued that municipal museums were important arenas or tools for the formation of social identities and hierarchies, although there was no predetermined group or identity that they were designed to promote, and they responded most clearly to local factors. Of course, the museum’s relationship with the social fabric of the town was both under-and overlaid with national and individual factors. Though several commentators have noted the local autonomy and variation in nineteenth-century towns,1 by the end of the period particularly standardisation and centralisation were becoming increasingly apparent, both in museum practice and in local government.2 Nevertheless, this does not alter the fact that the museum was an important means by which, in each town, social groupings and hierarchies were asserted and communicated. This was done partly through claims of ownership and control of the museum. In theory every citizen had a claim of ownership, but in practice some had much more control than others. Councillors, staff, and large donors all asserted such ownership, and established it more firmly by their uses of the building itself, with social events for both councils and scientific societies, and a generous sprinkling of busts, portraits and memorial plaques to each other/ The converse of this was that everyone else had less claim on the museum, and was allowed into the museum conditionally, as long as they behaved properly.4 In fact, behavioural and recreational reform of the working class was a major aim of the municipal museum. It was attempted primarily through the use of space to create awe, and through dispersal of crowds and increased visibility, to encourage self-policing. It was also attempted through the use of attendants and even policemen, and by making such concessions as evening opening and lecture series dependent on good behaviour from the public.5