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
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Photo of shadow of person in doorway

Points of Departure: Photography from Senegal by Mamadou Gomis and Judith Quaz

  • 12 May — 7 September 2014 *on now

This exhibition examines the phenomenon of migration, by placing the transatlantic slave trade and contemporary migration from West Africa in a single frame. The photographs document migrant's absences as they are felt by the families they left behind in pursuit of a better life.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

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

Website

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

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.
Engraved artillery shell cases and other WW1 memorabilia

First World War Tours

  • 4 June — 12 November 2014 *on now

A WW1 tour with a difference - consider how this conflict affected people around the world before, during and after 1914-18. On this free 20 minute tour you'll discover stories behind fascinating and poignant objects; from currency to engraved artillery shell cases, from musical instruments to armour. Part of the First World War Centenary programme.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free tour at 3.15pm every Wednesday afternoon from 4 June 2014 to 12 November 2014.

Website

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

Detail of yellow and red feather cloak from Hawaii

Trail: Carnival Summer Trail!

  • 23 July — 1 September 2014 *on now

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

Mexican dance mask

Summer Holiday Activities: Afternoon Explorer - Masks

  • 1 September 2014 2-4pm *on now

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

Barn the Spoon

Crafty Networking

  • 4 September 2014 6-7:30pm

Barnaby Carder, aka 'Barn the Spoon', runs London's Little Spoon Shop, in which he sits and carves functional spoons of all kinds from fresh wood using axes and knives. Barn gathers his wood from local sustainable sources, including Tower Hamlet's Cemetery Park! Focusing on his carving practice, Barn will show examples and will discuss his transition from apprentice to a journeyman peddling his wares on the street, to seasoned East End shop owner.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free admission. Cash bar. Entry via the South Door, Robinson Close, off South Parks Road.

Website

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

Girl wearing explorer outfit

Pitt Fest : Need/Make/Use Day

  • 6 September 2014 11am-5pm

Celebrate the ingenuity and human spirit in the Pitt Rivers collections at our free, one-day event. Visit the Family Crafts Village for hands-on fun, explore the Workshop Zone to make music or try out ancient technologies and pick up locally made crafty goods at the Handmade Market. Enjoy street food and live performances and make discoveries inside the Museum on an object trail or guided tour.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free entry.

Website

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

Heritage Open Days 2014: Pitt Rivers Museum

  • 13 September 2014

Volunteer led tours. Introducing the history of the museum and some of it's highlights.

Admission

Please refer to the Heritage Open Days website for booking details and timings.

Website

http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/pitt-rivers-museum

Pouring molten metal from glowing furnace

Iron Here and There

  • 20 September 2014 2:30-3:30pm

Sculptor & director of The Bullpen Foundry, Wesley Jacobs, will talk about the alchemy of casting iron sculpture, running furnaces, wielding and manipulating metal and how it draws people into its magic and mystique. Wesley was awarded a 2013 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to undertake practical research into current iron casting practice in the USA. Since returning to the UK, he has been putting into practice his experience, having built a new furnace and teaching at his small foundry near Abingdon.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free entry.

Website

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

Toy aeroplane made from recycled materials

Pitt Stop: Round, round, get around

  • 4 October 2014 1-4pm

Planes that soar, boats that float and cars that va-va-vroom!

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

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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