Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RH
Tel: +44 0 1223 330906
Tools that Shaped the World
The Whipple Museum in Cambridge showcases scientific artifacts relating to the history of science, from the Middle Ages to the present.
The Whipple Museum of the History of Science is located in the former Perse School, in the University of Cambridge’s campus centre. The museum was founded as a result of author Robert Whipple’s generous donation of his scientific instrument collection to the University in 1944. Today, the museum houses an assortment of science tools, models, apparatus, prints, pictures, photographs, books, and other items that illustrate the history of science.
The Whipple Museum comprises part of the University of Cambridge’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science. While it functions primarily as a science museum free for public enjoyment, the Whipple also plays an important role in the teaching and research done by the department. The Department of History and Philosophy of Science also includes a library of early scientific books, some of which were part of Robert Whipple’s original collection.
The Whipple Museum shows a bias towards material from the 17th to the 19th century, particularly that which was produced by English instrument makers. The scientific collection at the Whipple Museum displays a strong sampling of navigation instruments related to surveying, drawing, and astronomy. It also houses a wide collection of mathematical tools, anatomical models, sundials, and electrical apparatus.
What can you expect to find in the Whipple Museum? This quick video gives a great example!