Oxford’s Botanic Garden and Arboretum remain open while the University’s museums close temporarily

Oxford University’s museums have temporarily closed to visitors in line with the latest government guidance. The Ashmolean Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum, History of Science Museum, and the Museum of Natural History are now closed to the public.

The Weston Library has temporarily closed its café, shop and exhibition galleries but the reading rooms in the library remain open to readers. The Old Bodleian Library has also closed to members of the public and tours are on hold, but the library reading rooms are open to readers.

The Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum remain open for local visitors to enjoy the outdoors. Visitors are asked to only visit if it is safe to do so and if they are in easy distance of the Botanic Garden or Arboretum. Entry to both sites is free for University staff and students but all visitors, including staff and students as well as Friends and Annual Pass Holders, must pre-book a time slot online to visit.  

While the four museums, Weston Library and Bodleian Library are closed, the public can enjoy online stories and find out about collections online. Explore collections-based activities like Slow Art at the Ashmolean Museum, activities to create your own symmetric pattern inspired by an exhibition at the History of Science Museum or learn how to identify fungi with the Botanic Garden and Arboretum. Or learn about the history of our spaces like in the Museum of Natural History’s Temple of Science podcast.

Over the upcoming months the public can also join in on an exciting series of free online talks, covering a range of topics and delivered by experts. Talks include Anna Atkins: Botanical Illustrations and Photographic Innovation (Ashmolean Museum), Arab Books and Astronomy in 17th century Oxford (History of Science Museum), Radical Hope and Critical Change  (Pitt Rivers Museum), Minerals, molecules and the Nobel Prize (Museum of Natural History) and Urban Plants and Environmental Benefits (£5, Botanic Garden).

Some of the sites’ popular exhibitions are now available online to enjoy from home. They include the Ashmolean’s Young Rembrandt exhibition, the History of Science Museum’s Precious and Rare: Islamic Metalwork from The Courtauld as well as the Bodleian Libraries Art of Advertising and the Pitt Rivers Museum’s Photography and Women.

Find out more about Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM's) online activities and resources for visitors

The museums, the Weston Library and Bodleian Library hope to welcome visitors back in early December following government guidance.