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.
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.