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Main gallery of the refurbished Whipple Museum

The Main Gallery

Formerly the 17th century Perse Room, the Whipple Museum's Main Gallery houses selected objects from our large collection. As well as large instruments - such as the 18th century Grand Orrery built by George Adams, and William Herschel's Newtonian telescope - there are a number of themed cases. These contain many exhibits associated with a variety of scientific fields. The gallery also hosts Case Studies, individual contributions by members of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science that display current research or areas of personal interest.

Our latest exhibition in this gallery is Why is This Here? Exploring the curious and controversial in the Whipple Museum's collection. This display asks staff and scholars from the Whipple Museum and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science to pick their favourite seemingly out-of-place objects, to help us explore why we collect these unusual and not always obviously 'scientific' artefacts.

Special Exhibition Gallery

The current exhibition in the Special Exhibition Gallery is  Robert S. Whipple and the Founding of the Whipple Museum, celebrating our 75th Anniversary.

This followed on from our first special exhibition in the refurbished space, Astronomy and Empire, which was on from 2nd October 2017 until 28th September 2019.

Globes in the Upper Gallery

The Upper Gallery features our stunning permanent exhibition: Globes. Often light-sensitive, globes are challenging to display, not least because it is desirable, but difficult, to see the entire surface of the globe. Our cases allow visitors a complete 360° view of our oustanding collection of globes, planetaria and other related objects. This has been part-funded by DCMS/Wolfson.

Learn more about Globes in our Explore section.

The Victorian Parlour

Upstairs in the Museum is the Victorian Parlour. This mini-gallery evokes the parlour of a 19th-century family interested in science. The room is filled with scientific objects which might have been found in the home during this period. Explore the drawers to find many 19th-century activities and games with a scientific theme - have fun designing your own animations using the zoetrope or look at early 3D images with the stereoscopic viewer.

The Learning Gallery

This gallery is currently closed.

Opening Times

Please note:

From 21st October, the Museum will be open on Wednesdays and Friday afternoons, for pre-booked visits only.

Tickets are free but must be booked through the University of Cambridge Museums' ticketing system.

Closed bank holidays

Free Entry