Oxford University Museum of Natural History

venue representative image
baby changing facilities icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

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.
Kurt Jackson

Kurt Jackson: Bees (and the odd wasp) in my Bonnet

  • 18 March — 29 September 2016 *on now

Kurt Jackson’s art is a celebration of the natural world. Recently he has been inspired by the bees he encounters at home in Cornwall and across the UK. This exhibition brings together paintings, sculpture and Museum collections to explore the diverse and beautiful world of bees.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Lives at the Top

  • 12 May — 13 November 2016 *on now

A small display celebrating the
Museum’s Victorian glass roof.
Soaring above the specimens, it is a
source of fascination for all visitors.
In this creative exploration of the
roof, discover the people behind
its creation, secrets of its beautiful
design and find out how it has been
maintained for generations to come

Suitable for

  • Any age
Orchid Cuckoo Bee from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Microsculpture

  • 27 May — 30 October 2016 *on now

See insect specimens from the
Museum’s collections like never
before in the beautifully-lit, large
scale, high magnification portraiture
of Levon Biss.
www.microsculpture.net

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.microsculpture.net

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.

Family Friendly Sundays

  • 9 January — 17 December 2016 *on now

Every Sunday, Drop-in, 2-4pm
Family Friendly trails, crafts, backpacks and more, all provided by Museum volunteers.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk

Beehive Spotlight

  • 9 August 2016 2:30-3pm

An informal talk about our observation
beehive. A chance to ask the questions
you’ve been buzzing to ask about bees.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Curious Cubs

  • 19 July 2016 10:30am-12:30pm

Pick up one of our activity bags and explore
the Museum with Pebbles, Smokey and
Huxley

Suitable for

  • 0-4

Alice's Animals

  • 2 July 2016 12-3pm

Explore the Museum that inspired the
book with performances and activities. See
website for details: www.oum.ox.ac.uk

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Dancing the Tree of Life

  • 2 July 2016 4-6pm

Join evolutionary biologist Yan Wong,
choreographer Joelle Pappas, and dancers
to see how evolution works as they dance
you through the tree of life. Free, book at:
www.bit.ly/mnhevents

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhevents

A Little Look at... Tall and Small

  • 11 July 2016 10:30-11am, 11:30am-12pm

An active, hands-on exploration telling the
tales of objects in the Museum.

Suitable for

  • 0-4

Sensing Culture

  • 25 July 2016 11am-12pm

A hands-on tour of the Museum to
highlight the insect collection, specially
created for visitors with impaired sight. Part
of our Heritage Lottery-funded ‘Sensing
Culture’ partner project with the RNIB.
Booking essential, email:
outreach@museums.ox.ac.uk

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://outreach@museums.ox.ac.uk

Afternoon Explorers: Giant Insects

  • 25 July 2016 1-4pm

Ever wondered what an enormous bee
would be like? Why not make one and
see? Join in with junk modelling and supersized
drawings.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Bags of Fun

  • 26 July — 30 August 2016

Borrow a backpack full of activities and
become a family of museum explorers.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Afternoon Explorers

  • 8 August 2016 1-4pm

Insects are amazing, especially really close
up! Grab a magnifying glass or microscope
and draw what you see.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Afternoon Explorers: Flying Bugs

  • 22 August 2016 1-4pm

Admire our flapping, zooming, buzzing
bugs and make one of your own to take
home

Suitable for

  • Especially for children
  • Family friendly
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.
advertisement