Howl has a rather inquisitive nature and this was clearly evident during this week’s Oxford adventure. With a few hours in the day to spare, it was decided that this was in fact the perfect opportunity to check out The Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum. Both of these offer free entry and are a great way to learn more about the area’s natural history.
The Oxford University Museum of Natural History was founded in 1860 as the centre for scientific study at the University of Oxford. It now holds the University’s internationally significant collections of geological and zoological specimens. 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.
Pitts Rivers Museum is Oxford’s anthropology and archaeology museum and offers a unique look into artefacts from living and extinct cultures, such as Tahitian costumes from the 18th century, Japanese armour, pre-Columbian pottery, Native American artefacts and Melanesian canoes. Since studying a behavioural module with a strong anthropological focus at University, I am always keen to develop my knowledge on past and present humans and the complexity of culture.
There are many museums that offer free entry and these are definitely worth a visit. You can spend as much time as you wish, exploring each section within the museums and each display is packed with information to help you interpret each object. This was essential for me in the Pitt Rivers Museum, as my knowledge is far inferior regarding anthropology as it is for natural history and science. However, that is not to say that there wasn’t plenty for me to learn in The Oxford Museum of Natural History!
So next time you fancy learning something new or are looking for ideas on how to spend your day, research into the local museums near you! I am sure that most of you are aware of the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum in London, both offering free entry. It would be great if any readers could share their new found or favourite places to explore!