Experience Oxfordshire



Oxford University Museums and Collections



Find out about what’s happening at the Oxford University Museums and Collections



Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology 


The Ashmolean Museum is home to the University’s collection of art and archaeology. Founded in 1683 it is the first public museum in the UK and one of the oldest in the world.

Highlights include mummies from Ancient Egypt; classical sculpture from Greece and Rome; paintings by masters of European art such as Raphael, Rembrandt van Rijn, William Turner and Vincent Van Gough; and the greatest collection of Chinese art in the west world. 


Bate Collection of Musical Instruments 

The Bate Collection celebrates the history of Western musical instruments from the mediaeval period to the present day. It is the most comprehensive collection in Britain of European woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments and also houses an important collection of harpsichords and clavichords.


Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library, which first opened in 1602, is among the most celebrated libraries in the world, not only for its incomparable collections of books and manuscripts, but also for its iconic buildings.

Tours are available of our magical reading rooms, including Duke Humfrey’s Library that was used as Hogwarts Library in the Harry Potter movies. Walk in the footsteps of 5 kings, 26 prime ministers, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and many other famous scholars who have studied here through the ages.

A visit to the Bodleian also offers access to our unique buildings and collections through our exhibitions, events, shop and venue hire.

The Bodleian Library is part of the Bodleian Libraries group: the largest university library system in the UK.


Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden is the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world and the oldest botanic garden in Britain. Explore the glasshouses, relax by the river, and discover the tree that inspired JRR Tolkien as he wrote 'The Lord of the Rings'.






Harcourt Arboretum




Harcourt Arboretum, in the village of Nuneham Courtenay, has the best collection of trees in Oxfordshire, including some of the oldest redwoods in Britain. Seasonal highlights include wildflower meadows, rhododendrons, and bluebell woods.



Museum of the History of Science 


The Museum of the History of Science houses an unrivalled collection of early scientific instruments in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built museum building. Discover objects associated with such diverse figures as George III, Einstein, and Lawrence of Arabia.




Museum of Natural History 

A Grade I listed Victorian Gothic building, the Museum of Natural History houses the University's zoology, entomology, palaeontology, and mineral collections. It is the largest collection of its type outside of the national collections and inspired Lewis Carroll to create many of his 'Alice' characters.




Pitt Rivers Museum of Anthropology and World Archaeology

The Pitt Rivers Museum holds one of the world’s finest collections of anthropology and archaeology, with objects revealing humankind's extraordinary problem-solving and craft skills from every continent and from throughout human history.







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