Blog > Science Museum, London

August 26, 2013

The Science Museum of London was founded in 1857 and is one of the city's major tourist attractions.  The Museum welcomes 2.7 million visitors a year. It is located on Exhibition Road (SW7 2DD) in South Kensington Road near the Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and the Royal Geographical Society. To reach the Science Museum of London from Safestay Hostel by taxi will take you about 17 minutes. By the tube (subway) it will take you approximately 37 minutes. 

You will need to walk to Elephant and Castle and take the Bakerloo Line towards Stonebridge Park. At the third stop you will disembark at Embankment and make the transfer to the District Line heading toward Richmond. At the 5th stop you will arrive at South Kensington. The Science Museum will be a short walk from the subway station.

The Science Museum of London is open every day of the year except December 24,25 &26. Hours of operation are from 10:00 to 18:00 (6:00 P.M.) last entry 17:15. As with several other museums admission is free except for special exhibitions.

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Originally the museum consisted of industrial and decorative arts, but also included a few science collections. Within the building the Patent Office Museum displayed some historical machines of the early 19th century. In the 1880's a Science Library was added.

The Science Museum of London would separate from its art collection and the Victoria and Albert Museum officially in 1909. The building complex itself would begin with the East Block in 1913 but this section would not be completed until 1928. The old 1862 buildings would be demolished in 1949 and the Centre Block would be completed in the late 1950's. Further expansion would come in the late 1990's on the Western side of the complex.

The exhibition galleries are never static for too long a period because of the constant changes in industry, technology, science and medicine. Older artifacts are then stored for research as well as future possible exhibits. Conservation is an ongoing effort at the museum.

The Science Museum of London has over 300,000 objects under its supervision. It has a particular concentration in the history of western technology, science, and medicine since 1700. It holds unrivaled collections from the Industrial Revolution. The accumulations of medical artifacts are also impressive since they encompass many different periods and cultures.

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The Collections in Science cover astronomy, cosmology, physics, navigation, mathematics, earth sciences, natural history, natural philosophy, chemistry, surveying, time, weights and measures. The Collections in Medicine are on permanent loan from the Wellcome Trust. They range from prehistoric implements to MRI scanners from around the world.

The ICT Collections focus on all the information and communication technologies that were fundamental in the development of human society. The artifacts cover electronics, computing, media technologies, and networks. Exhibits also include the internet, printing, radio, satellites, sound reproduction, software and telephony. The Engineering Technologies Collections holds the foundational artifacts from the Industrial Revolution. They extend into all areas of engineering and manufacture.

New galleries that will open in the near future at the Science Museum of London are Media Space in September 2013, and Information Age in September 2014. More galleries that will appear later are the Maths, Spectacular Science, Big Ideas, Medical and Space.

Science Museum Website