Meet dinosaurs and dodos at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

    Dodo at Museum of Natural History, Oxford
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    Vicky Sartain

    Pay a visit to this fascinating museum in Oxford, which sheds new light on its prehistoric treasures

    Museum of Natural History, Oxford
    Museum of Natural History, Oxford

    The city of Oxford temporarily lost one of its most valuable assets to vital restoration work on its roof in 2012, but since February 2014 business as usual has returned. The beautiful glass roof which for years had let rainwater seep in, had all 8,500 of its panes removed, cleaned and carefully resealed, while many major displays such as the whale skeletons, received conservation attention for the first time in 100 years. Founded in 1860, the museum was originally a research centre for the university and over the decades has seen an increase in the collections of entomological, geological and zoological specimens. The building itself is as impressive as its collections – a Grade I listed neo-Gothic vision, built by Benjamin Woodward and Thomas Newenham Deane as a ‘cathedral to science’.

    Museum of Natural History, Oxford
    Museum of Natural History, Oxford

    T-rex at Museum of Natural History, Oxford
    T-rex at Museum of Natural History, Oxford

    Beyond its function as a visitor attraction today, the museum operates a broad spectrum of natural environment research and education. Much is planned to capture the public’s attention: lectures, demonstrations and exhibitions. Exhibit favourites are among the oldest ever discovered, including fossilised dinosaur eggs, a Megalosaurus skeleton unearthed in the local village of Stonesfield, and the dodo. Look closely at those small architectural details too, many of which have often been inspired by the natural world – the ornate workmanship that beautifies something as small as a door handle or an arched window reflects the care that their architects lavished upon them.

    www.oum.ox.ac.uk

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