The Museum of Oxford is the only museum dedicated to telling the story of Oxford and its people. In 2018, it embarked on a huge transformation project!
The Museum is currently closed for redevelopment. However our work continues and you can explore what we are doing, share your City Stories, and find out more about our future plans on our website.
Our construction programme and reopening plans have been affected by COVID-19 and lockdown. We are planning to open later in 2021 and we hope to announce a date soon.
Expanded and new spaces
A hard hat tour of the new Museum under development
The redevelopment will see the Museum, which was partially closed in 2011, triple in size and increase the number of exhibits from 286 to around 750. It will tell the often-overlooked story of Oxford, its people, and its communities through exhibits, objects, and oral histories. The project aims to create an award-winning museum and events space in the centre of Oxford.
Not just building!
Alongside the £2.8m capital construction of the new Museum and its exhibits, the project is delivering a 3-year programme of exciting activities; including community exhibitions, learning resources for schools, family workshops, and reminiscence projects.
On the ground floor, the Museum will feature two new galleries displaying lots more of Oxford’s collections and state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits. Here you will be able to explore our three key themes:
- Every Community Leaves its Mark, from the Romans and the Anglo Saxons to Florence Park and the Cutteslowe Walls, this theme will explore the changing landscape of Oxford as different communities have developed, moved in, or moved away.
- Changing City examines Oxford during times of conflict as well as of industry. Although Oxford has changed with the times, the city visibly retains its rich heritage.
- Civic Pride will explore the Oxford ‘brand’ and what makes the City such a special place to live, work, and study. All in the setting of the historic Town Hall where decisions are still made for the City.
Spaces for schools, families, and learning
An empty exhibition room under construction
A new space, called Museum Makers, will encourage school children and communities to handle and create exhibits. The space will allow for the exploration of self and place, ensuring the Museum’s relevance for the future.
Our handling and reminiscence collections will be on open display for visitors to see and use. A small library within comfortable surroundings will allow for research or for families to learn more. Equipment will also give visitors the opportunity to add their own stories and objects to the collections digitally.
Better access and improved facilities
You’ll be able to enjoy all the Museum has to offer, exhibitions, events, and collections all in one place, in a dedicated area of Oxford Town Hall. Entry to the Museum is via our new entrance in the foyer of Oxford’s Grade II* Listed Town Hall. This entrance leads into a welcome and retail area where staff and volunteers will greet you.
Updated and refurbished toilets, a new kitchenette, storage spaces, and a new volunteer area will mean that schools, groups, and volunteers using this floor will have the facilities needed to make the Museum of Oxford a user-friendly space.
All of the new spaces will be wheelchair accessible.
The Museum of Oxford has received support and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Oxford City Council, and Arts Council England to help with the redevelopment. We are also very grateful to the major donors, trusts and foundations, companies, and individuals who have given significant financial support towards the capital campaign. To read about our funders for the Oxford’s Hidden Histories project, visit our Support Us pages.