Opening in 1875, the Crime Museum at Scotland Yard is the oldest museum in the world purely for recording crime. The name Black Museum was coined in 1877 by a reporter from The Observer, a London newspaper, although the museum is still referred to as the Crime Museum. The idea of a crime museum was conceived by Inspector Neame who had already collected together a number of items, with the intention of giving police officers practical instruction on how to detect and prevent burglary. It is this museum that inspired the Black Musuem radio series.
The museum is not open to members of the public but is now used as a lecture theatre for the curator to lecture police and like bodies in subjects such as Forensic Science, Pathology, Law and Investigative Techniques. A number of famous people have visited the musuem including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.