Pitt Rivers Museum

Pitt Rivers Museum
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 3PP
England

Website

Website

www.prm.ox.ac.uk

E-mail

General enquiries

prm@prm.ox.ac.uk

Telephone

Recorded general information, group bookings and option to speak our Receptionist

01865 270927

Fax

General fax number

01865 270943

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

The Pitt Rivers Museum is the University of Oxford's museum of anthropology and world archaeology. Founded in 1884 following a gift to the University from General Pitt-Rivers it retains its unique period atmosphere with dense displays of artefacts, many in the original wooden display cabinets. As a result, it has often been described as a 'Museum of Museums'.

The new extension and restored entrance which provide better provisions for the public, students and staff is now complete.

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

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

10.00-16.30 Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays;
12.00-16.30 Monday.
Please check for details of Christmas and Easter opening.

Admission charges

Admission Free

Getting there

The entrance to the Pitt Rivers Museum is through the Oxford University Museum Natural History (OUMNH) on Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW. The Pitt Rivers' entrance is at the far wall of the OUMNH. The OUMNH is closed during 2013 but access to the Pitt Rivers remains as usual.

Parking: The Museum unfortunately cannot offer parking facilities. Vehicles parking in the University's Science Area without a permit are liable to be wheel-clamped. We suggest that you look for parking in either the side streets around the Museum or at the multi-storey car park. We can offer disabled parking, please call 01865 270927 to book a space.

By bus: There are also five Park and Ride car parks (situated on the A40 at Headington; Red Bridge at the bottom of the Abingdon Road, near Kennington; Pear Tree Roundabout, Woodstock Road; Water Eaton, Banbury Road, Kidlington and Seacourt at Botley). The coach park is on Oxpens Road. The walk from the coach park and the multi-storey car parks to the Museum is about half an hour.

By train: Oxford train station is approximately a 20 minute level walk to the Museum.

By cycle: There are bicycle racks outside the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Additional info

Induction loop available in museum shop.
Please pre-book disabled parking spaces.

The entire collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The Pitt Rivers Museum takes the world for its province, with collections of artefacts that date from earliest times to the present day and extensive photographic and archival collections. The museum is a resource of international importance for the study of human cultures and their history. Its collections span all parts of the world from prehistory to the present day and celebrate the range of human creativity and technological ingenuity.

The collections are arranged typologically with material organised not by origin or date but by function to show how, at different times and in different parts of the world, people solved a wide range of everyday problems. Every aspect of human life is presented in displays of basketry, body adornment, magic, masks, medicine, music making, navigation and textiles, among dozens of other themes. These are complemented by a number of culture-specific displays, such as that devoted to material from the South Seas collected on Captain Cook's Second famous Voyage of Discovery.

Collection details

World Cultures, Weapons and War, Toys and Hobbies, Religion, Photography, Music, Costume and Textiles, Archaeology, Agriculture

Key artists and exhibits

  • The museum's displays contain an almost overwhelming variety of material from masks to magic, mummies to musical instruments. Highlights include a 40ft Totem pole, a witch in a bottle and a temporary exhibition of photographs taken in Iraq, by the renound traveller Wilfred Thesiger.
  • Designated Collection
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.
Water damaged photographs

Surviving Tsunami: Photographs in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake

  • 8 October 2013 — 27 April 2014 *on now

This exhibition presents material from a volunteer-led project in Japan to salvage and conserve historic photograph collections after two museums and a library in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, were destroyed in the 2011 tsunami. A team of more than sixty volunteers continues to work on the RD3 Project, drying, cleaning, digitising and documenting over 65,000 photographs, many of which record life in the Tohoku region over the last century.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free entry, donations welcomed

Website

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

Early C20th Easter egg, Eastern Europe

Trail: Eggstraordinary Easter Eggventure

  • 5 — 21 April 2014 *on now

Eggsplore the Museums with an eggciting egg-hunters trail!

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6

Admission

Trail available during Museum opening hours - please see website for details of Easter opening hours. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Red canoe

Saturday Spotlight: Nessmuk - Learn how to build your own tiny canoe!

  • 19 April 2014 2:30-3:30pm *on now

Local artist and craftsman Simon Clements will be talking about the techniques and materials used in making stitched and glued canoes, illustrated with model canoes from the Pitt Rivers collection. Simon will demonstrate the techniques used to build a canoe from a single sheet of plywood. The resulting craft is called a Nessmuk, a tiny canoe that is a modern interpretation of small Native American craft. These were the original Native American 'Utility vehicle', used to cross small waterways and to tend beaver traps. Come along and find out how to make your own and learn more about the boat collection here at the Museum.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free entry. Suitable for adults and older children. Entrance via the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PW.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/spotlights.html

Red and black Folk Weekend Oxford logo

Folk Weekend Oxford

  • 26 — 27 April 2014 10am-4:30pm

We're teaming up with Folk Weekend Oxford, to fill the Museum with all things folk! Join us for storytelling, live acoustic performances and family 'make and take' activities whilst exploring our galleries. There'll also be Morris dancing and Korean drumming performances on the lawn on Saturday and folk themed craft workshops on the Sunday. In town? Why not visit our pop-up tent in Gloucester Green between 10.00-17.00 to try traditional games such as mancala and hopscotch, try out some crafts and handle museum objects.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free admission. Entry via the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PW

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/needmakeuse.html

Detail from Egyptian mummy case c.720-650BC

Pitt Stop: Ancient Egypt Adventurer

  • 3 May 2014 1-4pm

Become an Ancient Egypt Adventurer! Explore objects from Egyptian tombs, meet a mummy and make a mask.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free drop-in session. Suitable for children aged 5+ but all ages welcome. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

South Korean mask with moveable parts

Under 5 event: Marvellous Masks

  • 8 May 2014 10:30am-4pm

Make a mask and go on an around-the-world mask spotting adventure!

Suitable for

  • 0-4

Admission

Two free drop-in sessions: 10.30-12.30 & 14.00-16.00. Suitable for under 5's. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Detail of the Haida totem pole in the Pitt Rivers Museum

May Half-Term Activities: Micro and Mega

  • 27 — 28 May 2014 1-4pm

Tiny dolls and enormous dinosaurs; investigate, sketch and create. Celebrate Oxfordshire Artweeks with the Museums.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Free drop-in session from 13.00 - 16.00 each day. Suitable for children aged 5+ but all ages welcome. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Brightly coloured basket designs

Under 5 event: Under and Over

  • 5 June 2014 10:30am-4pm

Weave in and out, under and over, and make a woven creation!

Suitable for

  • 0-4

Admission

Two free drop-in sessions: 10.30-12.30 & 14.00-16.00. Suitable for under 5's. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

African buffalo mask

Pitt Stop: Crocodile Crowns

  • 7 June 2014 1-4pm

Create elaborate animal head-wear inspired by our West African collections.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free drop-in session. Suitable for children aged 5+ but all ages welcome. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Interior view of Pitt Rivers Museum

Pitt Stop: Underground Explorers

  • 5 July 2014 1-4pm

Step into our underground wonderland. Burrowing animals, fossils and ancient remains from beneath the earth. Joint activity with the Museum of Natural History.

Suitable for children aged 5+ but all ages welcome. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free drop-in session

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Detail of yellow and red feather cloak from Hawaii

Trail: Carnival Summer Trail!

  • 23 July — 1 September 2014

Join the colourful, noisy parade through the Museums with our flamboyant summer trail.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free activity available during Museum opening hours. Suitable for children of all ages. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Detail of sketch of backpack

Summer Holiday Activities: Bags of Fun

  • 29 July 2014 2-4pm

Every Tuesday throughout the Summer Holidays, borrow a backpack full of activities and become a family of museum explorers.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free drop-in session every Tuesday afternoon during the summer holidays. Suitable for children of all ages. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Detail of Aboriginal dot art picture

Pitt Stop: Dreamtime

  • 2 August 2014 1-4pm

Discover Australian Aboriginal dreamtime tales and beautiful Dot Art. Then create your own masterpiece.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free drop-in session. Suitable for children aged 5+ but all ages welcome. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Two skin moccasins decorated with quill work, moose hair and metal pendants

Summer Holiday Activities: Afternoon Explorer - Shoes

  • 4 August 2014 2-4pm

Drop into the Museums to touch real museum objects and make something fun to take home.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free drop-in session. Suitable for children of all ages. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Red circular shield with animal figures and floral designs

Summer Holiday Activities: Afternoon Explorer - Shields

  • 18 August 2014 2-4pm

Drop into the Museums to touch real museum objects and make something fun to take home.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free drop-in session. Suitable for children of all ages. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Mexican dance mask

Summer Holiday Activities: Afternoon Explorer - Masks

  • 1 September 2014 2-4pm

Drop into the Museums to touch real museum objects and make something fun to take home.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Free drop-in session. Suitable for children of all ages. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Japanese lantern made from the inflated skin of a parrot fish

Pitt Stop: Light My Lamp

  • 6 September 2014 1-4pm

Add a dash of light this Autumn with your very own lantern and discover some unusual ones from around the world...

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Free drop-in session. Suitable for children of all ages. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Model of a funerary boat from Ancient Egypt

Under 5 event: Row, Row, Row Your Boat!

  • 11 September 2014 10:30am-4pm

Explore boats in the Museum and make one of your own!

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Two free drop-in sessions: 10.30-12.30 & 14.00-16.00

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Getting there

The entrance to the Pitt Rivers Museum is through the Oxford University Museum Natural History (OUMNH) on Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW. The Pitt Rivers' entrance is at the far wall of the OUMNH. The OUMNH is closed during 2013 but access to the Pitt Rivers remains as usual.

Parking: The Museum unfortunately cannot offer parking facilities. Vehicles parking in the University's Science Area without a permit are liable to be wheel-clamped. We suggest that you look for parking in either the side streets around the Museum or at the multi-storey car park. We can offer disabled parking, please call 01865 270927 to book a space.

By bus: There are also five Park and Ride car parks (situated on the A40 at Headington; Red Bridge at the bottom of the Abingdon Road, near Kennington; Pear Tree Roundabout, Woodstock Road; Water Eaton, Banbury Road, Kidlington and Seacourt at Botley). The coach park is on Oxpens Road. The walk from the coach park and the multi-storey car parks to the Museum is about half an hour.

By train: Oxford train station is approximately a 20 minute level walk to the Museum.

By cycle: There are bicycle racks outside the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

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