National Science and Media Museum

Exterior of National Science and Media Museum
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At the National Science and Media Museum, we explore the science and culture of light and sound technologies and their impact on our lives. We aim to inspire the scientists and engineers of the future to see more, hear more, think more and do more.

Our galleries and exhibition spaces help us illuminate world-famous collections in photography, film and television. Our team of Explainers create learning activities that fuel the imagination and get under the skin of our collections and exhibitions.

We're also home to Pictureville Cinema, which includes the UK's first IMAX—the biggest screen in West Yorkshire. Our three cinema screens allow us to showcase the magic of moving images from around the world in Bradford, the first UNESCO City of Film.

We’re part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Railway Museum in York, and Locomotion in Shildon.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

10.00–16.00 daily during the summer holidays (24 July – 5 September)

Admission charges

Entry to the museum is free; booking essential. Charges apply for cinemas.

The National Science and Media Museum is home to more than 3 million items of historical and cultural significance.

Our collection is devoted to the science and culture of image and sound. It includes three pivotal firsts: the world’s earliest known surviving negative, the earliest television footage, and the camera that made the earliest moving pictures in Britain.

Collection details

Archives, Film and Media, Photography, Science and Technology

Key artists and exhibits

  • The world's first negative
  • The earliest television footage
  • The camera that made the earliest moving pictures in Britain
  • Louis Le Prince's 1888 films Roundhay Garden Scene and Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge
  • BBC Collection
  • Kodak Collection
  • Daily Herald Archive
  • Tony Ray-Jones Archive
  • Hammer Films collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Visitors in the BFI Mediatheque

BFI Mediatheque

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 January 2022 *on now

Grab a booth in the BFI Mediatheque and discover the best, rarest and most extraordinary films and TV programmes from the BFI National Archive.

Simply log on at a viewing station and choose from over 2,500 highlights from the BFI National Archive, the world’s greatest and most diverse collection of film and television, free of charge.

From home movies to feature films, documentaries to kids’ TV, many titles have rarely been seen since their original release or broadcast.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/bfi-mediatheque

Children in the Animation Gallery

Animation Gallery

  • 1 January 2014 — 1 January 2022 *on now

Love Wallace and Gromit? Remember Morph? Discover original models and artwork from over 100 animations. See science in action as still images come to life!

Explore the history of animation and animated images—including animation produced right here in the UK. See some favourite characters, look back at animation through the ages, and discover how animators work their magic.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/animation-gallery

Visitors in the Games Lounge

Games Lounge

  • 1 January 2014 — 1 January 2022 *on now

Play your way through classic games, from Pac-Man to Super Mario Kart. Learn about the history of videogaming. Discover the story behind a global phenomenon.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£2

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/games-lounge

Visitors in the TV Gallery

Experience TV

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 January 2022 *on now

Explore the development, significance and cultural impact of one of the most influential inventions of the 20th century: television.

Why do we have adverts on TV, and how much are we influenced by what we see? Explore the exciting world of television in our TV gallery.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Admission

Free; museum admission ticket required

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/experience-tv

Visitors in the Kodak Gallery

Kodak Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 January 2022 *on now

Take a journey through the history of photography. Step into a 19th century portrait studio, see hundreds of incredible objects from our collection, and watch the world’s first moving colour film.

From the very first photographs to digital snaps, discover the history of photography in the Kodak Gallery.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Admission

Free; museum admission ticket required

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/kodak-gallery

Visitors in Life Online

Life Online

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 January 2022 *on now

How did our lives change when the internet was born? Find out in the world’s first gallery dedicated to the social, technological and cultural impact of the web.

Follow the history of the internet around Life Online. From the very first online communities to the latest ideas, uncover how it has transformed our lives and society.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/life-online

Visitors in the Mirror Maze at Wonderlab

Wonderlab

  • 23 March 2017 — 1 January 2023 *on now

Think like a scientist in Wonderlab, our newest and most interactive gallery exploring light and sound through mind-bending exhibits and spectacular live shows.

Touch, try and photograph your experience as you navigate your way through more than 20 exhibits. Hear your voice echo through a 15m-long tube, get lost in mirrors, make art using light, and travel through a laser tunnel.

Live experiments and extraordinary experiences will take you on a journey, changing how you see the world around you.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Especially for children
  • Family friendly

Admission

Free ticket required

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/wonderlab

Sound Season

Sound Season

  • 23 July — 5 December 2021 *on now

Sound Season is a series of exhibitions and events, at the museum and online, exploring how sound fills our world, how it’s created, and how we can experiment and play with it.

Sound is all around us. It fills our world and has movement, shape and energy. It can bring us joy and helps us better understand each other. All without ever being seen...

Throughout Sound Season, there’ll be exhibitions, events and activities to enjoy at the museum, on this website and across our social media channels. Join us to explore how sound is created, how it moves, how we hear it and how we can play with it.

BOOM: EXPERIMENTS IN SOUND
In this amazing interactive exhibition, the science of sound will come alive. How are sound waves made? How do they move? Learn how sound helps us to understand our world, then experiment and play with sound yourself!

SONIC: ADVENTURES IN AUDIO
Delve into the world of electronic sound with exciting new installations and interactive sound works from artists, scientists and makers.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free; booking essential

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/sound-season

Boom logo

Boom: Experiments in Sound

  • 23 July — 5 December 2021 *on now

Experience the sensation of sound and learn how it shapes our everyday lives. Stop, listen, experiment and play as you follow the journey of a soundwave.

Sound is all around us, every day. Even when you think it’s quiet, it’s not completely silent.

Experience the sensation of sound as we uncover how it shapes our everyday lives. Follow the life of a soundwave through the gallery, from creation to being heard. Along the way, there’ll be lots of opportunities for you to stop and listen, then manipulate and play with sound.

Walk through an insulated sound canal, experiment with tiptoeing or stomping, and hear the sound of your own footsteps in a forest. Then experience an amazing audiovisual show from our Explainers!

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

Free; museum admission ticket required

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/boom-experiments-sound

Sonic logo

Sonic: Adventures in Audio

  • 23 July — 5 December 2021 *on now

Discover the world of sound with exciting new installations and interactive sound works from scientists, artists and makers.

Sound is everywhere—yet we often don’t notice or think about it. How is it created, how does it move, and how do we hear it? Knowing the answers means scientists, artists and engineers can change what soundwaves do.

Sonic: Adventures in Audio will delve into the world of sound with exciting new installations and interactive sound works. Could you manage the sound levels at a concert in City Park? Try it for yourself, then find out how a synthesizer works and practice your patching techniques.

See the synthesizers that created the ‘sounds of the 80s’ and discover how noise cancelling headphones work. Objects from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, birthplace of the iconic Doctor Who theme tune, will also be on display.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free; museum admission ticket required

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/sonic-adventures-audio

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 child looking at a demonstration in Wonderlab Live

Wonderlab Live

  • 24 July — 5 September 2021 *on now

Come and think like a scientist in Wonderlab, with interactive demonstrations and new adventures in the science of light and sound.

Laser Speaker Watch sound patterns come to life—our Explainers will bounce a laser off a speaker and show you the vibrations caused by bass and treble.

Voice Changer For safety reasons, we’ve had to temporarily close this interactive exhibit in Wonderlab—so we’ve recreated it in a Covid-safe way! Hear how sound can be manipulated to create cool effects.

Bacteria Laser Beam Explore the bizarre world of bacteria through the power of light refraction

Suitable for

  • Any age
A child smiling with headphones on

Sound Demos

  • 24 July — 5 September 2021 *on now

When: Daily, 24 July – 5 September 2021
Where: Gallery 1, Level 1

As part of our amazing new exhibition Boom: Experiments in Sound, our Explainers will be exploring the science of sound through live demos! Join us to discover the weird and wonderful ways sound can be used in film, TV and radio.

The Funk Junk Trolley See (and hear) how everyday objects and junk can be used creatively or made into musical instruments!
Get Sonic, Get Radiophonic Learn about how engineers and composers use the science of sound to make us feel a certain way.
Holy Foley! ‘Foley’ is the art of creating sound effects used in films and TV. Discover the history of Foley and explore the science of sound creation.

Suitable for

  • Any age
A group of people of all ages taking part in a music workshop

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Family Workshops

  • 26 July 2021 12:30-3:30pm *on now
  • 27 July 2021 1-3:30pm

When: 12.30–15.30, Sunday 25 July; 12.30–15.30, Monday 26 July; 13.00–15.30, Tuesday 27 July
Where: Gallery 1, Level 1

Have you ever wondered what’s behind the music you listen to? Don’t miss this opportunity to explore sound with musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra! All ages are welcome to drop into these free workshops. You’ll listen to and create music together and take part in fun and interactive activities.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/summer-family-fun

People playing videogames on a cinema screen

Big Screen Gaming

  • 28 July — 5 September 2021

his summer, we’re bringing more than 40 fantastic games to life like you’ve never seen them before. Our specially curated selection includes Fortnite, Cuphead, Portal, Forza Horizon, Worms W.M.D, Untitled Goose Game and many more. Team up with family or friends, compete and play together.

TICKETS
Tickets are £12 for group of up to six people. After a 10-minute intro and chance to choose your games, you’ll be able to play for 30 minutes. Each group must include at least one adult.

To buy your tickets, you first need to book free museum admission for one of the dates it’s taking place (every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday between 28 July and 5 September). Once you have selected your museum admission tickets, you will be directed to a page where you can add big screen gaming tickets to your basket.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 16-17
  • 14-15
  • 18+

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/big-screen-gaming

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.
NeXT computer

A short history of the internet

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/short-history-internet

Read about the history of the internet, from its 1950s origins to the World Wide Web’s explosion in popularity in the late 1990s and the ‘dotcom bubble’.

Creator

  • National Science and Media Museum

Publisher

  • National Science and Media Museum
Cinerama

A very short history of cinema

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/very-short-history-of-cinema

Learn about the history and development of cinema, from the Kinetoscope in 1891 to today’s 3D revival.

Creator

  • National Science and Media Museum

Publisher

  • National Science and Media Museum
Telecast from the Moon - image

From the Moon to your living room: the Apollo 11 broadcast

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/moon-to-living-room-apollo-11-broadcast

The Moon landing was one of the biggest television events in history, reaching an estimated 650 million viewers. Discover the story of the planning and technological development that led to this incredible milestone in broadcasting.

Creator

  • National Science and Media Museum

Publisher

  • National Science and Media Museum
Robert Paul and the race to invent cinema

Robert Paul and the race to invent cinema

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/robert-paul-race-to-invent-cinema

Robert Paul was one of the most important and prolific figures in Victorian cinema. This forgotten pioneer of cinematography created equipment, business practices and filmmaking techniques that helped to shape the film industry as we know it today.

Creator

  • National Science and Media Museum

Publisher

  • National Science and Media Museum
Schoolchildren visiting the museum

Science Museum Group learning resources

https://learning-resources.sciencemuseum.org.uk/

This website brings together resources from our museums, including activities, games and videos. Discover activities to support a range of curriculum topics for use in the classroom, in museum galleries and beyond.

Publisher

  • Science Museum Group
Jack of Diamonds playing card hit by a .30 calibre bullet, Harold Edgerton, 1970

The history of photography in pictures

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/history-photography

From 1835 to the early 21st century, our curators have picked some of the most important and memorable images in our care, providing a fascinating glimpse into the history of photography.

Creator

  • National Science and Media Museum

Publisher

  • National Science and Media Museum

National Science and Media Museum
Pictureville
Bradford
West Yorkshire
BD1 1NQ
England

Website

https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/

E-mail

General Enquiries

info@sciencemuseumgroup.ac.uk

Telephone

General Enquiries

033 0058 0058

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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