Oxford University Museum of Natural History

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Founded in 1860 as the centre for scientific study at the University of Oxford, the Museum of Natural History now holds the University’s internationally-significant collections of geological and zoological specimens, as well as substantial archival material. Housed in a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture, the Museum’s growing collections underpin a broad programme of natural environment research, teaching and public engagement.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Open daily 10.00-17.00
Open most Bank holidays

Admission charges

Admission free

Additional info

Cafe: The Museum café is situated on the upper gallery over-looking the dinosaurs. There are child-friendly options available and families are always welcome.

Parking: There is no public parking available at the Museum, although coaches for visiting groups are usually able to drop off in Parks Road outside the Museum. There is a limited amount of pay-and-display parking in Keble Road and St Giles. Oxford has four park-and-ride car parks on the Ring Road, with regular bus services to the city centre.

The Museum is about 10 minutes walk from Oxford city centre and about 15 minutes from Oxford station.

Disabled access: There is no public parking at the Museum, although disabled facilities are available to registered users. There is a lift to the upper gallery for wheelchair access. Registered guide dogs are allowed in the museum.

Group visits: It is essential for all groups planning to visit the Museum to make a booking at least 2 days before their visit. Please contact education@oum.ox.ac.uk or 01865 282451. Language and international groups can book a joint visit to the Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Photography: Visitors are welcome to take photographs for their personal use. Professional photography may be arranged, in advance, with the Museum Administrator.

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Housed in an exceptional Grade 1 Victorian building (1860) of cast iron and glass, the University's collections are heavily used in research, teaching and public education. Highlights include the collections of: Hope and Dale, and the oldest known pinned insect (1702) in entomology; Buckland, Phillips, Daubeny, and Lyell (geology); Simmons (mineralogy); smaller collections from Burchell, Darwin, Wallace, Livingstone, Bell; and extensive modern collections.

The Tradescant collection, bequeathed to Oxford by Elias Ashmole in 1677 contains some of the oldest documented zoology specimens in the world, including the Oxford Dodo. Equally prominent are the associated archival materials, including those of the 'father of English geology', William Smith.

Collection details

Archaeology, Natural Sciences

Key artists and exhibits

  • Zoological, entomological, palaeontological, petrological and mineral specimens
  • The Dodo
  • Dinosaurs
  • Swifts
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Brain Diaries ident

Brain Diaries

  • 10 March 2017 — 1 January 2018 *on now

An exhibition revealing how the latest neuroscience is transforming what we know about the lifelong development of our brains, from birth to the end of life.

A partnership with Oxford Neuroscience.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Website

http://www.braindiaries.org

Into the Woodlands

  • 30 November 2017 — 2 June 2018

Eight hundred years ago, the Charter of the Forest gifted public access to Britain’s woodlands, to be used and enjoyed by all. Marking this anniversary, and celebrating 75 years of Wytham Woods, this display features woodland-inspired work by Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood, Robin Wilson, Rosie Fairfax-Cholmeley and Richard Lawrence.

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Otters

Curious Cubs

  • 21 November 2017 10:30am-12:30pm

Pick up an activity bag and explore the Museum with some of our furry friends.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
BD identity

Learning to Read: Biology to Culture

  • 22 November 2017 6:30-7:30pm

Written language and alphabets are cultural creations, but our capacity to learn how
to read and write is rooted in our biology. Professor Kate Nation describes recent
progress in the science of learning to read.

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhevents

Girl with goggles

Super Science Saturday

  • 25 November 2017 12-4pm

Investigate, experiment and discover surprising things with scientists from Oxford
University at our big science fair bonanza. Ages 8+.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Purple Brain

‘And Now I Have Remembered You’

  • 2 December 2017 7-8:30pm

Poetry and neuroscience under the T. rex looking at the fallibility of memory. With
poet Helen Mort and neuroscientist Dr Jason Taylor.

Admission

£5 adults £3 students

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhtickets

The Lions of Tanzania

  • 4 December 2017 7-8pm

WildCru’s Dr Amy Dickman discusses her research in Tanzania and the problems
facing Africa’s remaining lions. With Oxfordshire Mammal Group.

Admission

£3

A Little Look at... Winter Animals

  • 11 December 2017 10:30-11am, 11:30am-12pm

Take a guided walk to find out how animals cosy up for the winter.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Age of Nature

  • 12 December 2017 10:30am-12:30pm

A group enabling older people, including those living with dementia and their carers,
to explore and enjoy the collection.

Curious Cubs

  • 19 December 2017 10:30am-12:30pm

Pick up an activity bag and explore the Museum with some of our furry friends.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Parks Road
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 3PW
England

Website

www.oum.ox.ac.uk

E-mail

info@oum.ox.ac.uk

Telephone

01865 272950

Fax

01865 272970

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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