History of Science Museum

History of Science Museum - (1 of 1)

** Covid-19 update - access routes into and around the building may be different to those described on this page. Please contact the department directly to check current arrangements. **

The basement exhibition spaces in the museum are accessible via an external platform lift.

All other areas of the museum, including the main entrance and shop, can only be accessed via stairs. The internal staircase is very old with wide wooden steps, although there are handrails both sides of the staircase.

The text on some of the displays is small and there is low lighting in some areas of the museum. 

There are no hearing support systems in the museum. 

This table contains summary information about the building

On-site designated parking for Blue Badge holders No
Public designated parking for Blue Badge holders within 200m Yes - 5 spaces on Broad Street
Other nearby parking Yes - pay and display on Broad Street
Main entrance Stepped. Manual door
Alternative entrance Yes - platform lift from street level to basement only
Wheelchair accessible toilets 1
Lift Yes - platform lift from street level to basement only
Hearing support systems No
Google Maps
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University Map
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There is no car parking at the museum. There are five nearby Blue Badge parking spaces on Broad Street, and two on Parks Road. In addition there is pay and display standard parking on Broad Street.

Please click on the link below to view a map showing Blue Badge parking spaces in central Oxford:

 

 

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The main entrance to the museum is off Broad Street, up a flight of steps with no nosing and a small lip. Once you are up these stairs, pass through a pair of double glass doors to enter the museum. These doors are manual, but one side is usually held open during the day.

Visitors requiring level access should follow the signs directing them around the left hand side of the building, and through a narrow archway into the courtyard area of the Sheldonian. There is a platform lift on your right which will take you down to the level entrance. The lift is staff-operated only, so please use the buzzer to alert museum staff, and someone will come and help you. Alternatively, you can call 01865 277 293 during opening hours. The lift is quite small, so you will need to reverse out of a narrow space at the bottom. 

The door of the level access entrance is a single door with no visual panel, which is operated using a swipe card. Museum staff will open it for visitors needing to use this entrance. Visitors will also need to alert a member of museum staff when they want to leave the museum and return to street level!

 

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The information desk is on the ground floor and can only be reached by stairs. As you come through the main entrance doors the information desk and shop are on the right hand side.

There is no wheelchair accessible section of the information desk. There is no hearing support system in place at the desk. 

There are always gallery attendants located throughout the museum available to help visitors and answer questions.

  

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The accessible toilet is on the basement level. It is reached through the small basement gallery (B on floor plan) opposite the exit from the Special Exhibitions Gallery (C). Please see floor plan for details.

 

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There is one main flight of stairs in the museum. The staircase is very old with wide wooden steps, no contrasting marking on the step edgings and low lighting in some areas; please do take care here. There are lights suspended at various heights all the way up the staircase. At points these are at eye level; some people may find this causes glare. There are continuous handrails both sides of the whole staircase.

There are a couple of steps leading down to the main library entrance, but these can be bypassed using a staff-operated level access door.

 

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 Due to the public nature of the building, there aren’t many closed doors in the museum!  The main entrance is a pair of manual double doors with glass panels, and one side is usually held open during museum opening hours.  If you are using the level entrance, a member of staff will help you with the door.  The main library entrance is a set of glass double doors, and the level entrance a single door with no vision panel, which a member of staff will unlock for you.

 

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The museum has a library which operates on a strictly appointment only basis. There are a couple of steps leading down to the main library entrance, but these can be bypassed using a staff-operated level access door. Once inside, the reading room is fully accessible, but some of the shelves might be difficult to reach for wheelchair users. The library information desk (on your right hand side as you enter) is manned at all times. There are no adjustable desks, but the chairs and tables are moveable. 

To access the library from Broad Street level, users requiring level access will need to use the platform lift. Please see the ‘Entrances’ section of the building page for more information.

 

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The centre of the basement gallery space is often used for informal public lectures.  There is a long table with moveable chairs, and the area is fully level. 

 

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There is an education room in the library annexe. This is accessible through the library via a staff-operated level access door.  All furniture is moveable, but there are no adjustable desks.  A portable hearing loop is available from museum reception. 

 

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Only the basement gallery space is accessible to those visitors who require level access.  The display cases are well spaced, but the floor is uneven in the smaller gallery (B).  Ambient lighting is low, and some of the text is quite small, which might make reading display information difficult for some.  The special exhibition gallery is bright and well laid-out.

A selection of audio guides is available for download here https://hsm.ox.ac.uk/pocket-curator-mobile-app

There is a hearing loop for the entrance gallery available at reception. 

The museum also has a range of ‘virtual exhibitions’ available at https://hsm.ox.ac.uk/past-exhibitions-and-displays.

 

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The gift shop is located on the ground floor just inside the main entrance. It can only be accessed by stairs.

 

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There are no hearing support systems in the museum. 

Accessible computers

There are no computers available for use. However, visitors can make use of the public Wi-Fi to access information on their own portable devices. 

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Contact details


History of Science Museum
Broad Street
Oxford
OX1 3AZ

info@mhs.ox.ac.uk
www.hsm.ox.ac.uk

 

Access enquiries


History of Science Museum 
operations@mhs.ox.ac.uk
01865 277 293

 

Contact the Access Guide


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