If you don't think of yourself as a museum-goer, the issue might not be that you don't like museums — it could just be that you haven't found the right one yet. That's the thinking behind International Museum Day, which celebrates every kind of museum under the sun, from the heavy-hitters like the Louvre and Smithsonian Institute to the tinier, weirder specimens. And while many of us have only had the experience of being dragged through a huge museum on a family trip, looking at famous paintings and Roman relics for hours on end, there's much more to the world of museums than that — like the many small museums that are centered around one specific item or topic, often the most obscure and bizarre items or topics possible.
I am a self-confessed weird museum fanatic. I was fascinated when the highly entertaining Museum of Letters & Manuscripts in Paris, home to bits of writing from history's famous figures, was raided and closed when it was discovered to be part of a massive money fraud ring. (The fraud was financial; the manuscripts were very real.) I love collections of weird anatomical specimens, upsetting taxidermy, kitsch collections of pointless nonsense, and terrifying miniatures (particularly terrifying miniatures). These seven odd museums represent only a small slice of the weirdness available for the devoted museum fan worldwide, but they're all enough to make for an extremely bonkers first date — and a great introduction to the wider world of small museums.