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Museum of the History of Science

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Broad Street

The Museum of the History of Science houses an unrivalled collection of historic scientific instruments in the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum building - the Old Ashmolean on Broad Street, Oxford. By virtue of the collection and the building, the Museum occupies a special position, both in the study of the history of science and in the development of western culture and collecting.

The present collection of the Museum preserves the material relics of past science. As a department of the University of Oxford, the Museum has a role both in making these relics available for study by historians who are willing to look beyond the traditional confines of books and manuscripts as well as presenting them to the visiting public.

The objects represented - of which there are approximately 10,000 - cover almost all aspects of the history of science, from antiquity to the early twentieth century.

Particular strengths include the collections of astrolabes, sundials, quadrants, early mathematical instruments generally (including those used for surveying, drawing, calculating, astronomy and navigation) and optical instruments (including microscopes, telescopes and cameras), together with apparatus associated with chemistry, natural philosophy and medicine.

In addition, the Museum possesses a unique reference library for the study of the history of scientific instruments that includes manuscripts, incunabula, prints, printed ephemera and early photographic material.

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The Museum of the History of Science is located at the very centre of Oxford, on Broad Street, next to the Sheldonian Theatre and directly opposite Blackwell's main bookshop. The Museum is within 10 minutes walking distance of the railway and coach stations.

Prospective visitors by car are advised that daytime parking is limited to half an hour in Broad Street; the city encourages use of its 'park and ride' car parks on each of the main roads into the city, with frequent bus services into the centre.

Museum of the History of Science Postcode for SatNav: OX1 3AZ


+44 (0)1865 277 280
+44 (0)1865 277 288

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