Darkened but not dormant: Oxford University Museum of Natural History closes during 2013 for essential roof work
The Museum of Natural History is closed to the public throughout 2013 to carry out much needed and long overdue roof repairs. The glass tiles on the roof have leaked rainwater into the museum's galleries for many years - visitors may recall seeing carefully positioned buckets atop display cases to catch the worst of it.
After trial repairs to one third of the roof proved successful it was decided that the remainder of the roof should be repaired in one go. Unfortunately, the disruption caused by this work would prevent visitors from enjoying the majority of the displays, so the decision has been taken to close the Museum during 2013 while the repairs are completed.
When the museum opens next year it will be bathed in light,as the freshly cleaned glass tiles are freed of dirt accumulated over many years.
Although public access to the galleries will not be possible during this period, activity at the Museum is far from subdued. The education department will embark on a vigorous outreach programme - look out for our liveried van on roads around the county - and there are some special plans in stor for activity in and around Oxford city too.
Inside the Museum, collections work and scientific research continue as ever. Some of this activity will be revealed to the public during the closure in a regular programme of behind-the-scenes tours. Keep an eye on the website - www.oum.ox.ac.uk - for more about this and other activities during 2013.
Finally visitors should note that the Pitt Rivers Museum is open as normal throughout the entire period of the roof work closure. The main Museum of Natural History entrance will remain open and a route around the construction will take visitors into the Pitt Rivers Museum.