About the Museum

Photograph of the Main Gallery
Photograph of the Main Gallery of the Whipple Museum. Image © Whipple Museum

The Whipple Museum's collection includes scientific instruments, apparatus, models, pictures, prints, photographs, books and other material related to the history of science.

The Museum and its collection

The museum's holdings are particularly strong in material dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries, especially objects produced by English instrument makers, although the collection contains objects dating from the medieval period to the present day. Instruments of astronomy, navigation, surveying, drawing and calculating are well represented, as are sundials, mathematical instruments and early electrical apparatus.

The Whipple Museum was founded in 1944 when Robert Stewart Whipple presented his collection of scientific instruments to the University of Cambridge.

» Find out more about Robert Stewart Whipple and the founding of the Museum.

Since Robert Whipple's initial gift of the collection, the Museum has come to house many instruments formerly used in the Colleges and Departments of the University of Cambridge. Details of these collections can be found on the special collections page.

Find out about some of the Museum's microscopes, astronomical instruments and teaching models using our new Explore [/whipple/explore] website.

Department of History and Philosophy of Science

The Museum forms part of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science [http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk], University of Cambridge. The Department includes a working library [http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/library/] with a large collection of early scientific books, some of which were given by Robert Whipple. The Museum plays an important part in the Department's teaching and research.

» Find out more about teaching and research in the Museum.

» Visit the web pages of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science [http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk].

The Museum's history

The room now housing the Main Gallery of the Museum was built in 1618. Originally it was part of the first Free School in Cambridge and has also been used as an electrical laboratory and a display area for the Fitzwilliam Museum during its history.

» Find out more about the history of the Museum building and its former uses.

Donating to the Museum

The Museum operates on a small budget and relies to a large extent on the generosity of its patrons. If you would like to donate to the Museum please click here [https://www.alumni.cam.ac.uk/giving/direct.php?table=departmentprojects&id=211].

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