Museum of the History of Science Museums

Museum of the History of Science
Old Ashmolean Building, Broad Street


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The Museum of the History of Science houses an unrivalled collection of historic scientific instruments in the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum building, the Old Ashmolean on Broad Street, Oxford. By virtue of the collection and the building, the Museum occupies a special position, both in the study of the history of science and in the development of western culture and collecting.

The Museum has a long history. The Old Ashmolean Building itself was completed in 1683 as the world's first museum open to the general public, housing the collection of Elias Ashmole (1617-92). As well as Ashmole's collection, the building also encompassed a broad range of activities associated with the pursuit of 'natural knowledge'.

This exhibition presents the fine collection of early drug jars at the Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford. These pharmacy jars, manufactured from the 16th to the 18th century, are presented along with printed herbals from the Museum's library. Together, they are set in the context of the therapeutical practice of the time.

The Museum of the History of Science in Oxford has a fine oil painting in its collections of an imagined scene in the life of the sixteenth-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). It was painted in 1855 by Eduard Ender and shows Tycho demonstrating a celestial globe to the Emperor Rudolph II in Prague. Unfortunately, for many years it had not been on display because of its poor condition - obvious areas of paint loss, discolouring of the varnish and damage to the canvas. .

Attraction Details

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VenueMuseum of the History of Science
AddressOld Ashmolean Building, Broad Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 3AZ
Opening times12am - 4pm Sun 2pm - 5pm
Entry costs
Attraction typeMuseums

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