The Museum of Oxford is the only museum dedicated to telling the story of Oxford and its people. It is about to embark on a huge transformation project!
We were successful with grant funding, made possible through money raised by National Lottery players, in March. It will contribute towards the £3.2m project to transform the Museum - titled Oxford’s Hidden Histories. The redevelopment will see the Museum, which was partially closed in 2011, triple in size and increase the number of exhibits from 286 to around 750. It will tell the often-overlooked story of Oxford, its people and its communities through exhibits, objects and oral histories. The project aims to create an award-winning museum and events space in the centre of Oxford.
What we are going to do…
The new museum entrance will be accessed from the foyer of Oxford’s Grade II* Listed Town Hall. The Museum will feature two new galleries displaying state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits. A new space, called Museum Makers, will encourage schoolchildren and communities to handle and create exhibits. We will create a new shop and reception desk, forming a much improved welcome area for the Museum. We will also improve facilities for the museum’s 100+ volunteers!
Not just building!
Alongside the £2.8m capital construction of the new museum and its exhibits, the project will deliver a 3 year programme of exciting activity; including outreach sessions, learning resources for schools, family workshops and reminiscence projects.
The application for Heritage Lottery Funding was first submitted in September 2015 in response to public demand for a larger museum. The Museum sees more than 75,000 visitors a year, however many have said it is too small in comparison to other museums in the city. Over the past few months, we have hosted a range of fundraising events with the Museum of Oxford's Development Trust. So far, £94,000 of a £450,000 fundraising target has been raised. We will be continuing to fundraise towards the redevelopment…
… and we need your help! While the Museum is closed, you will be able to meet staff and share your objects and stories for the new museum at community events across the city. To help support fundraising through events and the project visit the www.oxfordhiddenhistories.org.
What will change now?
To make all of the spaces ready for builders and new exhibitions to be installed, the Museum’s Explore Oxford galleries and Gallery will close at 5pm on Saturday the 28th of April. During the summer, we will redisplay as many of the exhibitions as possible in our Gallery space. We will be opening our Micro-Museum in October. This will be a temporary exhibition so you can still find out about the history of Oxford whilst we work on building the new Museum of Oxford.
The Museum of Oxford has received support and funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund, WREN, Oxford City Council and Arts Council England. To read about funders for the Oxford's Hidden Histories project, visit our website www.oxfordhiddenshistories.org