Cambridge’s collections have multiple lives, embracing public and private histories, personal and scientific interest and the past and the present. They illuminate the wider activities, histories and environments of the people who made them and the worlds they represent.
We draw upon our collections to conduct pioneering research. By investing in our collections and museums, our ambition is to deepen public understanding of cultures and peoples across the planet.
Accumulated over nearly 300 years, the collections contain materials from the dawn of human activity and beyond, and objects that stir our innate sense of wonder. As well as being a vital resource for research, teaching and cross-disciplinary exploration, they are an important means by which academic Cambridge shares its knowledge with the wider public, stimulating engagement with the subjects to which they relate. By animating concepts and ideas, they raise educational aspiration in the most powerful way there is: by appealing to the imagination.
Opportunities in 'Collections, libraries and museums'
The Cambridge University Botanic Garden holds a plant collection of over 8000 plant species from all over the world to facilitate teaching and research. The Garden provides resources including plant material, horticultural expertise and facilities to research workers and lecturers.
The Fitzwilliam Museum is the principal museum of the University of Cambridge. Its core purpose is to safeguard the collections, to make them accessible for study and enjoyment and to preserve them for future generations.
With over 1.1 million specimens, some collected in the Galapagos by Darwin himself, the University Herbarium is a testament to our evolutionary past, and an invaluable resource in informing the emerging molecular science of the future. Including the nation’s most comprehensive and definitive collection of British plants, it is a resource both for scholars and the wider public.
The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences is the oldest of the University of Cambridge museums, having been established in 1728. A walk through the museum takes you on a 4.5 billion year journey through time, from the meteoritic building blocks of planets to the thousands of fossils of animals and plants that illustrate the evolution of life in the oceans, on land and in the air.
The Whipple Museum holds an internationally important collection of scientific instruments and models, dating from the Middle Ages to the present. As well as being open to the public, it is regularly used by the Department's staff and students for teaching and research.