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Current Exhibitions and Displays

WOMEN IN SCIENCE: Portraits, Archive Material, Trails and Talks
Basement Gallery
March – December 2018

100 years ago, the first group of women won the right to vote in the UK. In this centenary year, there is widespread recognition of the political role women have played in society.
But what about the vital contributions women have made to science over the centuries? For 2018 the Museum will be celebrating women throughout history who have contributed to our knowledge of the universe. Check back regularly for updates about our activities.

Is there a scientific woman you think should feature in our year of celebrations? We would love to hear about them. Drop us an email at


Self Portrait Colour Photograph of and by Sarah Acland. She sits in the foreground on a chair and is holding her guitar. It has been taken outside.

Self Portrait Colour Photograph of Sarah Acland with her Portuguese Guitar, Early 20th Century

Portrait Display
This display celebrates women who have been part of the scientific world, from the 1700s to the present day. Each scientific woman is linked to our Museum, either through an item in the collections or by their roles at the University of Oxford. It includes Sarah Angelina Acland, who was a pioneer of colour photography in the late Victorian and Edwardian period, and Mary Somerville, who was known as “The Queen of Nineteenth Century Science”.

Family Trail
Women have been involved in science for thousands of years as astronomers, mathematicians, instrument makers, and merchants.
Use this family trail to travel through our collections and find out about women like Caroline Herschel, an astronomer, and Ada Lovelace, a forerunner of computer coding.
Drop-in, ages 7+


Coming Soon:

In the Archives – June 2018
A display of rarely seen material from the Museum’s archive featuring Sarah Acland, Elizabeth Hippisley and more.

Shout Out For Women Trail- July 2018
This trail across the collections of Oxford University’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums aims to highlight just some of the incredible women who are represented within our wonderful collections and buildings, from artists and scientists to curators.

Ada Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist
Professor Ursula Martin – Thursday 27 September 2018
Ada, Countess of Lovelace, is sometimes called the world’s first computer programmer and has become an icon for women in technology. But how did a young woman in the 19th century, without access to formal school or university education, acquire the knowledge and expertise to become a pioneer of computer science?
Professor Martin is a professor at the University of Oxford whose research interests span mathematics, computer science and the humanities. She recently wrote Ada Lovelace, the Making of a Computer Scientist with Christopher Hollings and Adrian Rice. It is the first popular account of the scientific and mathematical education of Ada Lovelace. We will update our events page with booking details in August.

Dr Patricia Fara Thursday 22 November 2018
The author of A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War joins us at the Museum to talk about her work. We will update our events page with booking details in September.


Online Exhibitions

The Museum has been creating virtual versions of exhibitions since 1995:

ANNA DUMITRIU: BioArt and Bacteria

Anna Dumitriu: BioArt and Bacteria

Back from the Dead

Back from the Dead


Dear Harry

Geek is Good

Geek is Good

In Print

In Print

Natural Histories

Natural Histories

Revealing The Brain

Let’s Get Physical


Fancy Names & Fun Toys

The Renaissance in Astronomy




Elliott Brothers

Elliott Brothers

Hand with Meteor

Anvilled Stars

Al-Mizan: Sciences and Arts in the Islamic World


Steampunk photo from the opening


Compass and Rule: Architecture as Mathematical Practice in England, 1500-1750

Compass and Rule

Telescopes Now: real stories of astronomy today

Telescopes Now

Heaven on Earth: Missionaries and the Mathematical Arts in 17th-century Beijing

Heaven on Earth

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Scientific Instrument Society

SIS 25

Moonscope: lunar drawings amd watercolours


Time & Place

Small Worlds

Science in Islam

Wireless World: Marconi & the making of radio

Wireless World

The Astrolabe, East and West

The Astrolabe, East and West

Astrolabes of Africa exhibition

Astrolabes of Africa

Bye Bye Blackboard ... from Einstein and others

Bye Bye Blackboard

Titan: a new world explored

Titan: a new world explored

Drug Trade: Therapy, pharmacy and commerce in early-modern Europe

Drug Trade

The Transits of Venus: A collaborative project exploring the global quest to discover the dimensions of the solar system.

The Transits of Venus

The Most Noble Problem in Nature: An MHS exhibition on the 18th-century transits of Venus

The Most Noble Problem in Nature

Star Holder: The Lives of the Astrolabe

Star Holder

Solomon’s House in Oxford: New Finds from the First Museum

Solomon’s House in Oxford

Susan Derges : Natural Magic

Natural Magic

Cosmographia: a Close Encounter


Epact : Scientific Instruments of Medieval and Renaissance Europe


Lines of Faith: Instruments and Religious Practice in Islam

Lines of Faith

The Garden, the Ark, the Tower, the Temple

Garden, Ark, Tower, Temple

Cameras: the Technology of Photographic Imaging


George Graham and Bill Gates: A Study in Architectural Dominance

George Graham and Bill Gates

The Noble Dane: Images of Tycho Brahe

Images of Tycho Brahe

The Geometry of War, 1500-1750

The Geometry of War

The Measurers: a Flemish Image of Mathematics in the Sixteenth Century

The Measurers

Early Photographs from the Museum’s Collection

Early Photographs

The Oxford Virtual Science Walk

Oxford Virtual Science Walk