Life, As We Know It

A CGI of the Main Court following our redisplay project

Exciting changes are coming to the Museum

as we embark on the first major redisplay of our permanent exhibits in almost 20 years...


We are currently working on an exciting project to revitalise our Main Court displays. During August and September, some areas of the Main Court will be temporarily inaccessible, though we aim to keep visitor disruption to a minimum. Our opening hours will be largely unaffected, but please check our website to avoid disappointment. Things might look a bit unfinished at the moment, but you'll get an exciting glimpse of the displays as they come together!


Two of the centre aisles in the Main Court of the Museum will be temporarily out of access


About Life, as we know it

Oxford University Museum of Natural History is reinvigorating its Main Court with high-end cases and updated exhibits. Visitors will be able to experience our collections like they never have done before, with new displays showcasing Life, as we know it.

Focusing on the interactions between our planet’s evolutionary and geological histories, our new exhibits will trace the story of life on Earth and celebrate our planet’s incredible biodiversity.


A museum staff member placing specimens into a redisplay case

Museum staff members are hard at work installing new exhibits

A family standing in front of the new Life, as we know it case

Visitors getting a sneak peak of the new case


Life, as we know it is an ambitious, multi-stage project that began in 2018 with the installation of our Out of the Deep displays (Phase 1). During the summer of 2022, we will be completing work on Phase 2 of the project as we create new displays in the centre aisle of the Main Court. We will be continuing work on the Life, as we know it over the next few years, with plans to update exhibits that extend throughout the Museum.


 Research-led: Scientists from across the University of Oxford have contributed their world-leading expertise to the development of our new displays.


 Accessible to all: Our new exhibits are designed to appeal to everyone from the casual browser to the detail-hungry learner.


  Inspiring change: Our new displays will consider the past and future of our planet, with an aim to inspire our 750,000+ yearly visitors to take action and help preserve global biodiversity.



We need your support:


Support Life, as we know it and help shape the future of our Museum. Donations to the General Fund will help support the redisplay across four key areas: