Exhibitions and Displays

Our unique collection of globes.

Globes in the Upper Gallery

The Upper Gallery has been re-opened and now features our stunning new 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. The new 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.

» Read more about the Globes exhibition

The Main Gallery

The Main Gallery, showing large objects on display
The Main Gallery of the Whipple Museum of the History of Science. Image © Whipple Museum

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.

The discover gallery

The discover gallery, showing the computer database
Use our computer database to find out about objects in the discover gallery. Image © Whipple Museum

The discover gallery holds a fascinating collection of scientific instruments dating from medieval times to the present day, including microscopes, telescopes, sundials, early slide rules, pocket electronic calculators and a range of laboratory equipment. This gallery's aim is to bring as many of the museum's objects as possible out of the cupboards and into high-density display. The themed cases are dense with instruments and contain only minimal labelling. We encourage visitors to explore our information resources to 'discover' the objects on display:

The Victorian Parlour

Shell displays and a stereoscopic viewer in the Victorian Parlour
Make your own shell display or look at early 3D images in the Victorian Parlour. Image © Whipple Museum

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 New Gallery

This gallery was created in 2008 from space created from the relocation of the Whipple Library. From late October 2014 the gallery will be dedicated to Cambridge science of the 19th and 20th century.

Within the new gallery are handling trollies that contain activities inspired by objects in the Museum's collection. Have a go at making your own zoetrope animations or putting body parts in the right place on the organ tunic!

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