Museum of the History of Science
Museum of the History of Science

Scientific instruments and devices through the ages, including clocks, cameras, and medical equipment, are housed in the oldest purpose-built museum building in the world.
The ornate museum entrance
The ornate museum entrance

Collections include over 20,000 fascinating items from all areas of science. There are a huge array of early scientific instruments, including navigation tools like sundials, quadrants, and astrolabes, and optical instruments such as microscopes and telescopes.

See early mathematical tools, chemistry instruments, and medical paraphernalia. There is a vast collection of manuscripts, prints, and early scientific photographs.

You can also see a fascinating collection covering astronomy in the Renaissance period, including globes, books, and astronomical instruments, and objects connected with the history of science in the Islamic world, from astronomy, mathematics, medecine, and literature.

The range of the museum's collections is simply astounding, and seeing them displayed in the historic surroundings of the 17th century Ashmolean Building is a unique and powerful experience.

History
The Museum is located in the Old Ashmolean building on Broad Street, directly beside the Clarendon Building and the Bodleian Library. The Ashmolean Building was built in 1683 to display the collections of antiquarian Elias Ashmole, and was the first public museum in the world. There was a chemical laboratory in the basement, while lectures and public demonstrations of scientific principles took place in the first floor premises of the School of Natural History.

The Ashmolean Museum outgrew the Broad Street premises and moved to its current, much larger building, on Beaumont Street, but in 1924 the museum as we know it took shape on the old Broad Street premises.

The museum is free to enter and is well worth a visit. This truly is a outstanding museum, full of fascination for laymen and scientists alike.