The University of Cambridge Museums are closing to the public on 17 March until further notice. Find out more.


Discover a vast array of scientific instruments dating from the Middle Ages to the present day. From microscopes and telescopes to pocket calculators and slide rules, find out more about the tools that scientists have used to understand the world around us.

Collection Highlights

- Papier-mâché anatomical model of a human, c. 1890 - When Dr. Louis Auzoux created these dissectible anatomical models with a revolutionary technique, he expanded the possibilities for learning about the human body.
- The Grand Orrery, c. 1750 - This ornate model of the solar system, as it was then known, used a complex clockwork mechanism to demonstrate the relative orbits of the planets around the sun.
- Planispheric Astrolabe, 14th century - The earliest known English astrolabe in existence. Astrolabes have been used by astronomers and navigators for almost two thousand years to measure the position of celestial bodies.
- Charles Darwin’s microscope, c.1846 - Darwin purchased this impressive microscope to process samples he collected on the HMS Beagle. He used the microscope to focus on his “beloved cirripedia” – barnacles – the study of which informed his theories on species variation.
- Ingeborg Brun’s Mars Globe, c. 1930 - Brun created her globes using Percival Lowell’s popular maps of Mars. Lowell claimed he could see evidence of life on Mars, in the form of canals. Brun was inspired by the fair and cooperative communities Lowell’s observations suggested.

Free entry

Contact Us

Call :01223 330906

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Group Visits

Group visits are very welcome. Maximum group size 25 people, or 1 school class. Please book at least one week in advance by emailing

Family Visits

Visiting with a buggy
You are welcome to visit with our buggy. Lifts to all floors are accessible via the accessible entrance on the New Museums Site. Please keep buggies with you at all times.

Adventures boxes and bags are available to help you explore the galleries. Bags are available at the front of the Main Gallery. Have a look through the drawers in the Victorian Parlour to find 19th-century activities and games with a scientific theme.

Research Enquiries and Image Permissions

For information about consulting the collection for research purposes, see the Museum's research profile

For image permissions, please contact the Museum directly at