Every object on display was required to document a period, site or civilisation. Objects were organised in series, by excavation, provenance and broad chronological periods.The displays were above all educational and aimed to be accessible for all.
Offering the public a complete and accessible view of science
Alongside all kinds of original objects there were casts, models, maps, drawings and object labels, to facilitate understanding.
In room 1 on the first floor, devoted to prehistoric periods, there was a cast of the skull of Neanderthal man, antlers from a Megaloceros (or Irish Elk), moss and animal bone samples, the cave map produced by Alexandre Bertrand and flint from the collection of Boucher de Perthes.
The room dedicated to the Roman conquest, which owed much to the work of the Commission de Topographie des Gaules, contained arms and models illustrating the Gallic Wars. A miniature harnessed onager and reconstructions of catapults and ballistae from Verchère de Reffye, on display on the ground floor, completed the displays.
Interiors designed by Eugène Millet
The museum’s collections were displayed over four floors. The fittings had to be adapted to the many models and objects in a series on display and to the size of the rooms. The visit needed to be as comfortable as possible, requiring showcases and seating to be spread throughout the spaces. The museum’s design was entrusted to Eugène Millet, the architect responsible for the building’s restoration. He chose a uniform and polished style.