The Museum of the History of Science is a constituent department of the University of Oxford, open to the public six days a week with permanent galleries, special exhibitions and a busy programme of events (www.mhs.ox.ac.uk). Housed in a building of 1683, which originally contained the Ashmolean Museum, a chemical laboratory and a lecture space for experimental philosophy, it now accommodates the world's finest collection of early scientific instruments, unrivalled in its coverage of the period up to about 1700. Outstanding collections of astrolabes, sundials and other early mathematical instruments are augmented by later microscopes, telescopes, cameras, physical apparatus, etc, and the recent addition of the Marconi Collection. The paintings are a miscellaneous collection of works acquired for their connections to the history of science and scientific instruments.
Open Tuesday to Friday, 12pm–5pm; Saturday 10am–5pm; Sunday 2pm–5pm. Closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and some days in between; closed also on Easter Sunday.