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.

Protecting Sumatran Orangutans

  • 22 September 2017 6:30-8pm *on now

Conservationist Dr Ian Singleton shares fascinating insights from 20 years at the front line of orangutan protection.

Admission

£12 per ticket

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhorangutan

Curiosity Carnival

  • 29 September 2017 7-10pm

A night for the incurably curious, as questions are asked, answered and intricately
explored with researchers from the University of Oxford. Part of European Researchers’ Night

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.bit.ly/curiositycarnival

BD indent

The Enlightened Mr Parkinson

  • 5 October 2017 6:30-5:30pm

James Parkinson’s work extended well beyond neurology and medicine. This lecture by Dr Cherry Lewis celebrates his important contributions to geology and politics.

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhevents

The Wolves of Yellowstone

  • 9 October 2017 7-8pm

Professor Tim Coulson discusses his research into the ecological impacts of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park. With Oxfordshire Mammal Group.

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.oxonmammals.org

A Little Look at... Alice’s Animals

  • 9 October 2017 10:30-11am, 11:30am-12pm

An active, hands-on exploration of animals from Alice in Wonderland. Under 5s

Suitable for

  • 0-4
BD identity

The Traumatised Brain

  • 10 October 2017 6:30-7:30pm

To mark World Mental Health day, Professor Morten Kringlebach and Hugh McManners
discuss how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects people and their brains.

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhevents

An evening with Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

  • 11 October 2017 7-8:30pm

Author Robert Macfarlane and illustrator Jackie Morris present their new ‘spellbook’, The Lost Words, celebrating the magic and wonder of the natural world.

Admission

£5 per ticket

Website

http://www.bit.ly/thelostwords

Darwin statue

Darwin’s Backyard: Small Experiments, Big Theory

  • 13 October 2017 7-8pm

Professor James T. Costa explores how Darwin’s investigations into evolution were fuelled by endless, ingenious experiments at home. Includes a chance to see some of Darwin’s original specimens.

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhevents

BD identity

Brain Spotlight

  • 14 October 2017 2:30-3pm

Neuroscientists share their research in an informal talk and demonstration.

Museum of Natural History

Age of Nature

  • 17 October 2017 2:30-4pm

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

Curious Cubs

  • 17 October 2017 10:30am-12:30pm

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

Suitable for

  • 0-4

Bats, Cats, Witches & Charms

  • 23 — 25 October 2017

A Halloween special - activities exploring creatures of the night, magic charms and mysteries to be solved. A joint event with the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children
BD identity

A Window on the Brain

  • 2 November 2017 7-9:30pm

See the brain in a completely new light through theatre, music and neuroscience, to celebrate the launch of the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN)

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhevents

BD Identity

Masterclass: Evolution of the Brain

  • 4 November 2017 10am-1pm

Neuroscientist Professor Zoltán Molnár and members of his laboratory will lead you
through the amazing development and adaptations of the vertebrate brain, using specimens from the Museum.

Admission

£25 per person

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhtickets

Skomer’s Voles

  • 13 November 2017 7-8pm

Join Dr Tim Healing to discover the natural history of Skomer’s endemic species of vole. With Oxfordshire Mammal Group.

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.oxonmammals.org

A Little Look at... Bears

  • 13 November 2017 10:30-11am, 11:30am-12pm

We’re going on a bear hunt! It’s the perfect Museum tour for toddlers. Under 5s.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
Museum of Natural History

Age of Nature

  • 14 November 2017 2:30-4pm

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

BD identity

Mind-altering Drugs: A Safer Way Forward?

  • 16 November 2017 6:30-7:30pm

Drawing on experience of working clinically with addictions, Dr Ben Sessa discusses
whether there is a role for illicit drugs in the treatment of mental health conditions.

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhevents

T.rex

Lost and Found

  • 17 November 2017 7-10pm

An evening of talks, tours, performance and more, exploring lost and found worlds.
With the Pitt Rivers Museum. Part of Being Human festival.

Admission

£3 per ticket

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhtickets

BD identity

Brain Spotlight

  • 18 November 2017 2:30-3pm

Neuroscientists share their research in an informal talk and demonstration.

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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