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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.

The Learning Gallery

This Learning Gallery is next door to the Main Gallery, and features exhibits related to study and learning.

Importantly, it also contains family-friendly resources! Our activity boxes contain handling objects that help illustrate scientific concepts in an enjoyable way.

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.

Opening Times

We will be closed on Monday 2nd May

We are open five days a week, 12.30 - 16:30

Monday 12.30 - 16:30

Tuesday 12.30 - 16:30

Wednesday 12.30 - 16:30

Thursday 12.30 - 16:30

Friday 12.30 - 16:30

We hope to see you soon!

Please note that, in line with University of Cambridge guidance, the Whipple Museum requires visitors to continue to wear face coverings (unless exempt) and maintain social distancing.