History Today carried a feature in 2015, describing The Origin of Museums as "a cult book [that] spawned a new discipline in the history of collecting".
Indeed, the first publication of this book in 1985 undoubtedly marked a propitious moment in the development of interest, in what has since grown to be a dynamic subject-area in its own right. That an appetite for such matters was already there is confirmed by the fact that the first impression sold out within a few months, a second impression a year or two later, and the third in 1989.
There was to be no further printing by the original publishers, Oxford University Press.
However in 2001 a new edition appeared with a new publisher.
Demand again proved buoyant, but within a few months the company failed; having operated on a print-on-demand basis, it left behind it no unsold stock.
The Origins of Museums reverted to a scarce (though much sought-after) volume.
With original copies now selling for hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, the Ashmolean is proud to make this important volume readily available again.