Oxford University Museums Partnership

Secondary students looking at fish skeleton in the Museum of Natural History


The four museums within the GLAM division, as the Oxford University Museums Partnership, are one of 21 Major Partner Museum Services nationwide funded by Arts Council England to support excellence and resilience within regional museums. 

Vision for 2015-2018

Crossing sciences, arts, cultures and time, the exceptional diversity, depth and history of our collections inspire a passion to understand our past, present and future worlds.

From our position at the heart of the University, our vision is for Oxford University Museums to pioneer ways of developing and sharing knowledge and expertise so that everyone, wherever they are in the world, can engage with and find inspiration through our collections, activities and scholarship.

We will establish ourselves as resilient leaders, delivering innovative programmes to diverse audiences, and nurturing dynamic partnerships within the University, the sector and with the public.

MPM activity for 2015-2018

Major Partner Museum funding is invested across the museums to support activity including audience engagement, digital development, collections care and display and innovation. We also invest in the professional development of our staff through initiatives like the Continuing Professional Development Fund and the Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is a modest pot of money to which colleagues working within the museums can bid to support activity that supports engaging new audiences or experimenting with new ways of working. This enables colleagues to take risks, working with ideas beyond the remit of their core budget and deliverables, and provides excellent professional development for more junior members of staff who can lead on projects. Find out more about the Innovation Fund.

Examples from the Innovation Fund: staff at innovation workshop; staff taking over pub quizzes with specimen focused questions; working with young people to develop digital products

As Major Partner Museums the Partnership also has broader sector responsibilities, with a national leadership role around the themes of Excellence and Higher Education. Key to this is our programme of knowledge exchange events, a series of conferences and workshops on areas such as Commercial Enterprise, Fundraising & Philanthropy, Digital Engagement and Leadership. Find out more about our events programme.

Also central to our sector leadership activity is Oxford Cultural Leaders, a week long, residential leadership programme for museums, heritage and the arts that we deliver annually in partnership with the Said Business School. Find out more about Oxford Cultural Leaders.

Oxford Cultural Leaders Faculty, Jonathan Lloyd (Pegasus Theatre), Pegram Harrison (Said Business School), Richard Evans (Beamish), Janet Barnes (Yorkshire Museums Trust)


Current Arts Council Funding is until 31 March 2018; the Partnership is currently in the process of applying for extended funding for the 2018-2022 period.

To find out more about the Partnership or Arts Council Funding or Museums visit the OUMP website.

List of site pages