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

An exhibition and series of events 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

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.

A Little Look at...

  • 6 March 2017 10:30-11am, 11:30am-12pm

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

Suitable for

  • 0-4

Age of Nature

  • 28 February 2017 2:30-4pm
  • 21 March 2017 2:30-4pm
  • 25 April 2017 2:30-4pm

A group enabling older people to explore
and enjoy the Museum collections.
Dementia Friendly. No booking required.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Curious Cubs

  • 21 March 2017 10:30am-12:30pm

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

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children
Brain Diaries ident

Oxford International Women’s Festival - Brain Spotlight

  • 10 March 2017 2:30-3:30pm

Meet female neuroscientists and find out
about your brain in this exhibition spotlight.
In partnership with Oxford Neuroscience. Part of the Brain Diaries exhibition programme.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 16-17
  • 14-15
  • 18+
Brain Diaries ident

Super Science Saturday: The Brain

  • 11 March 2017 12-4pm

What’s going on inside your head? Meet
top brain scientists and take part in demos
and activities to find out.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Deer: A Conservationist’s Friend or Foe

  • 13 March 2017 7-8:30pm

Nigel Fisher, Conservator of Wytham
Woods, reveals the results of twenty years
of practical deer management and research.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.oxonmammals.org

BD ident

The Shaking Palsy: Past, Present and Future of Parkinson’s Disease

  • 15 March 2017 6:30-7:30pm

Professor Paul Bolam reflects on the history
of this disease, its treatment and potential
future therapies. In partnership with Oxford
Neuroscience.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.bit.ly/mnhevents

BD ident

Brain Diary Demos

  • 18 March 2017 2-4pm
  • 25 March 2017 2-4pm

Meet the scientists behind the Brain Diaries
exhibition and take part in fun handson
activities. In partnership with Oxford
Neuroscience.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17
BD ident

The No Bell Prize

  • 24 March 2017 6:30-7:30pm

A fun and informative panel event where
neuroscientists get interrupted by a bell
if they use incomprehensible jargon! In
partnership with Oxford Neuroscience. Part of the Brain Diaries exhibition programme.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/oxford-university-museum-of-natural-history-6303283269

BD ident

Fixing the Brain Before it’s Broken

  • 29 March 2017 6:30-8pm

Professor Clare Mackay explains how
imaging techniques can help develop more
effective treatments for brain disease. In
partnership with Oxford Neuroscience.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/oxford-university-museum-of-natural-history-6303283269

BD ident

Easter Holidays: Brain Power!

  • 17 — 19 April 2017

Discover the brilliant things your brain does,
from your head to your toes!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children
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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