Whipple Museum of the History of Science

Whipple Museum of the History of Science

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  • Whipple museum interior
    The interior of the Whipple Museum
  • Whipple Museum visitor
    A visitor inspects an exhibit in the Museum

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.

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

Whipple Museum of the History of Science website

Gift announcements

Cambridge owes its world-leading excellence in research and teaching to the generosity of its supporters. Our history is synonymous with a history of far-sighted benefaction, and the same is as true today as it has ever been.

The wetlands of the Camargue, France. Image copyright Josef Grunig and used under a Creative Commons licence
Gift announcement
The MAVA Foundation has given a £1.14 million grant to Cambridge’s Department of Zoology to support its 'Conservation Evidence' project.
Laser laboratory in the Department of Chemistry
Gift announcement
Gift from The Frances and Augustus Newman Foundation for new laboratory in the Department of Chemistry – The Sir Rodney Sweetnam Laboratory for Micro and Nanoscale Biomedical Science.

Related impact stories

Philanthropic giving is at the heart of the success of the Collegiate University, enabling us to make discoveries that change the world and to ensure that our students received an unrivalled education.

Joseph da Costa Miranda’s Portuguese mariner’s compass (1711) held at the Whipple Museum
Philanthropic impact story
Nearly 70 years after Robert Whipple’s donation of scientific instruments and rare books to the University, his grandchildren and their families have established a permanent conservation fund.