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Exhibitions and Displays

Current Displays

WOMEN IN SCIENCE: 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? During 2018 we are celebrating a number of women connected with the University and the Museum’s collections. 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 audience.engagement@mhs.ox.ac.uk [1].


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

Basement Display

A small display of rarely seen archive material highlights the work of four women. Anna Atkins was one of the first people to illustrate a book with photography in 1843, and Sarah Angelina Acland was a pioneer of colour photography in the early 1900s. Ada Lovelace has been described as the world’s first computer programmer, and Elizabeth Hippisley was a chemist and geologist in the late 1700s. This display of archive material is joined by a banner display featuring eight women from a number of scientific fields. You can read more about their work in the accompanying leaflet, which is also available to download as a PDF [2].

Family Trail
Follow our Women and Science trail to discover more links to the collections and find out about Caroline Herschel, an astronomer, and Ada Lovelace, a forerunner
of computer coding.
Drop-in, ages 7+

Shout Out For Women Trail
A trail across the collections of Oxford University’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums celebrating some of the women who are represented within our collections
and buildings including artists, scientists and curators.
Pick up a copy from our front desk.

Talks and Tours
Women in Science: Tour
Wednesday 26 September, 12.30 – 1pm
Join us for a staff-led tour of our Women in Science programme and discover how women have been involved in science for hundreds of years as astronomers, mathematicians, instrument makers, and merchants.
Meet in the Basement Gallery.

Ada Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist
Professor Ursula Martin [3] – 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?
Ursula 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 [4] with Christopher Hollings and Adrian Rice. It is the first popular account of the scientific and mathematical education of Ada Lovelace.
Booking will open on Monday 27 August. Please book via our Eventbrite Page [5].

Dr Patricia Fara [6] Thursday 22 November 2018
The author of A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War [7] joins us at the Museum to talk about her work. We will update our events page [8] with booking details in September.


Online Exhibitions

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

ANNA DUMITRIU: BioArt and Bacteria [9]
Anna Dumitriu: BioArt and Bacteria

Back from the Dead Exhibition [10]

Back from the Dead

Moseley [11]

Dear Harry

Geek is Good Exhibition [12]

Geek is Good

In Print [13]

In Print

Natural Histories [14]

Natural Histories


Revealing The Brain


Let’s Get Physical




Fancy Names & Fun Toys


The Renaissance in Astronomy



Eccentricity [21]


Elliott Brothers [22]

Elliott Brothers

Hand with Meteor [23]

Anvilled Stars

Al-Mizan: Sciences and Arts in the Islamic World [24]


Steampunk photo from the opening [25]


Compass and Rule: Architecture as Mathematical Practice in England, 1500-1750 [26]

Compass and Rule

Telescopes Now: real stories of astronomy today [27]

Telescopes Now

Heaven on Earth: Missionaries and the Mathematical Arts in 17th-century Beijing [28]

Heaven on Earth

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Scientific Instrument Society [29]

SIS 25

Moonscope: lunar drawings amd watercolours [30]



Time & Place


Small Worlds


Science in Islam

Wireless World: Marconi & the making of radio [34]

Wireless World

The Astrolabe, East and West [35]

The Astrolabe, East and West

Astrolabes of Africa exhibition [36]

Astrolabes of Africa

Bye Bye Blackboard ... from Einstein and others [37]

Bye Bye Blackboard

Titan: a new world explored [38]

Titan: a new world explored

Drug Trade: Therapy, pharmacy and commerce in early-modern Europe [39]

Drug Trade

The Transits of Venus: A collaborative project exploring the global quest to discover the dimensions of the solar system. [40]

The Transits of Venus

The Most Noble Problem in Nature: An MHS exhibition on the 18th-century transits of Venus [41]

The Most Noble Problem in Nature

Star Holder: The Lives of the Astrolabe [42]

Star Holder

Solomon’s House in Oxford: New Finds from the First Museum [43]

Solomon’s House in Oxford

Susan Derges : Natural Magic [44]

Natural Magic

Cosmographia: a Close Encounter [45]


Epact : Scientific Instruments of Medieval and Renaissance Europe [46]


Lines of Faith: Instruments and Religious Practice in Islam [47]

Lines of Faith

The Garden, the Ark, the Tower, the Temple [48]

Garden, Ark, Tower, Temple

Cameras: the Technology of Photographic Imaging [49]


George Graham and Bill Gates: A Study in Architectural Dominance [50]

George Graham and Bill Gates

The Noble Dane: Images of Tycho Brahe [51]

Images of Tycho Brahe

The Geometry of War, 1500-1750 [52]

The Geometry of War

The Measurers: a Flemish Image of Mathematics in the Sixteenth Century [53]

The Measurers

Early Photographs from the Museum’s Collection [54]

Early Photographs

The Oxford Virtual Science Walk [55]

Oxford Virtual Science Walk