Founded in 1860 as the centre for scientific study at the University of Oxford, the Museum of Natural History on Parks Road houses the university’s scientific collections of zoological, entomological, geological, palaeontological and mineralogical specimens, accumulated in the course of the last three centuries.
Housed in a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture, the museum’s growing collections underpin a broad programme of natural environment research, teaching and public engagement. Among its most famous features are the Oxfordshire dinosaurs, the Dodo, and the swifts in the tower. The building’s style was strongly influenced by the ideas of 19th-century art critic John Ruskin.
The museum was established in 1860 to draw together scientific studies from across the University of Oxford. Today, the award-winning Museum continues to be a place of scientific research, collecting and fieldwork, and plays host to a programme of events, exhibitions and activities for the public and school students of all ages.
Free admission to all exhibitions allows you to take your time to view the 4.5 million specimens, the largest collection of its type outside of national collections. Booking is essential, and tickets must be booked in advance. Please follow the booking and visiting information on the museum’s website.
The Museum of Natural History is one of the four Oxford University’s museums (along with the Ashmolean, the Museum of the History of Science and the Pitt Rivers Museum. These four museums form part of the group GLAM (Gardens, Libraries and Museums) together with the Bodleian Libraries and Botanic Gardens and Harcourt Arboretum.