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Francis Hookham portrait with calculator collection, 1988

The staff of the Whipple Museum are saddened to learn of the passing of longtime friend of the Museum Francis Hookham, who died peacefully on March 25th. Francis is known to many of our visitors through his much-loved collection of pocket electronic calculators, which he donated to the Museum in 1988. The collection was begun in 1975, just as electronic calculators were passing from expensive high-end scientific tools to their present status as disposable everyday technology. Hookham recognized the need to preserve early examples before they disappeared, eventually amassing over 450 different types before offering his entire collection to the Whipple. Since that time, Hookham’s calculators have been one of the Museum’s most popular displays. They continue to attract an enthusiastic response from visitors to our newly redisplayed Learning Gallery, where a selection remain on show.

While the Whipple Museum remains closed due to the covid-19 pandemic, visitors can learn more about Hookham’s collection in the Explore section of the Museum’s website.

The staff of the Whipple Museum pass on their sincere condolences to the Hookham family, and their thanks once again for Francis’s most generous donation.

Opening Times

We will be reopening on 17th May!

Booking is essential, but tickets are free. They will be available from Tuesday 11th May at the University of Cambridge Museums website. Tickets will be available for the following week.

Slots are as below:

Monday 12.30 - 14.00

Wednesday 12.30 - 14.00

Friday 12.30 - 14.00

We are looking forward to welcoming you back!