The Financial Times recently featured an interesting piece about the development of the Materials Library at King's College London.
As an Oxford graduate Mark Miodownik (of the Materials Research Group) helped create the Materials Library to store some of the World's strangest substances with the hope of instill[ing] a sense of wonder in the visitor.
Discontent with limiting learning to material theory he began by collecting materials for use as classroom resources. Later, with the help of a £70,000 funding initiative, the library was set up to allow visitors an opportunity to touch and smell materials whilst studying the relationship between its molecular structure and physical properties.
If you're interested in visiting the library try contacting them for information on exhibitions or events. There's also a mailing list if you're looking to join the Materials Library network to keep up-to-date with news and activities.
And for more on Mark see: