Opening the Doors of Mr Hope's Entomology Collection

HOPE for the Future

Celebrating Oxford Open Doors, we invite you to step behind the scenes into the beautiful painted Westwood Room where a team are re-curating the 1 million-strong British Insect Collection. 

Join our team of experts for guided behind the scenes tours, and be part of Museum history by moving and labelling an insect from the collection! 

Tours on the hour from 11am to 3pm, and last 45 minutes. Maximum group size 8 people per tour. To attend a tour, book a ticket to visit the Museum and sign up to a time slot on arrival.


Colourful insects from the HOPE collection on a white background

About the HOPE for the Future Project: 

The Museum of Natural History contains one of the largest, oldest and most important collections of insects in the world, the Hope collection, comprising some 5 million specimens. This year, with help from the NLHF, our collections team are re-curating our 1 million British insects, as part of our ‘HOPE for the Future’ project, aimed at safeguarding the specimens for future generations and raising awareness of these amazing creatures, what we can learn from them and why the collection is so important in understanding the health of our environment. In addition to work on the specimens, the project also includes the restoration of the Westwood Room, the office of the first curator of Entomology, John Obadiah Westwood. With hand-painted decoration on its walls and beams and a suitably entomological design carved around its ornate fireplace the Museum hopes to restore this space to its former glory and open it to the general public for events.