History of Science Museum at 100: Making Time

Six coloured balloons imposed over the roof of the History of Science Museum building


Making Time

Celebrating 100 years of the History of Science Museum

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  Sunday 3 March 2024


 At the Weston Library 

 Free for all, just drop in

About this event

Come and join us in the Weston Library to celebrate the first 100 years of the History of Science Museum.

  • Get hands-on with astrolabes and find out how they are made
  • Use the rhythm of the universe to tell the time
  • Learn beautiful Arabic calligraphy
  • Follow our founder Lewis Evans as he collects new time treasures
  • Make your very own sundial or astrolabe to take away

And don't miss Dr Sumner Braund's talk on the fascinating people and histories at the heart of the Lewis Evans collection.


A white man with glasses looking at the camera

How does it work?

Ever wondered what an astrolabe is and how it's made? Then come and join us for Astrolabes Live! with Dr Taha Yasin Arslan in our pop-up astrolabe workshop.

Taha will talk you through the process as he makes an astrolabe. And there'll be opportunities to get hands-on and engrave part of an astrolabe. Don't miss our experts showing you how an astrolabe works. And they'll help you handle the astrolabe so you can have a go yourself.

For ages 14+


A young white woman with red hair looking straight at the camera

About Time: One Passion. A World of Histories, 3–3.45pm

Dr Sumner Braund, curator of the new Lewis Evans display About Time, will give a short talk to share her latest research findings. She'll explore the people behind these beautiful instruments, outline the myriad journeys the objects took before Lewis Evans acquired them, and reveal the fascinating histories at the heart of the collection.

For ages 16+

Book your free ticket


Red Arabic calligraphy written on a white sheet of paper

What does it say?

This is your chance to learn the beautiful Arabic calligraphy you often see on astrolabes from the Islamic World. Our volunteers will give you a quick demo so you can create a sheet of writing to take away with you.

For ages 7+


The detail of a compass: it is round and gold and the compass points in the centre are different coloured triangles

Where in the world?

Follow in Lewis Evans' footsteps as he searches for new finds for his collection. Pick an object card and follow a map trail to discover what it is, where he found it, and who helped him along the way.

For ages 7+


A young boy with glasses using scissors to cut a piece of paper

Can I make time?

Why not start a collection by making your own time-teller? Choose an astrolabe or a sundial, follow the simple instructions (our volunteers are there to help), and see how we told the time before clocks and phones.

For ages 7+

A mother looks at a child holding a papercraft

Time for the Toddleian

Find out all about collectors with picture books and enjoy our colouring-in sheets featuring beautiful objects from the Lewis Evans collection.

For families with under 5s



Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

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 Wheelchair access

The Weston Library is wheelchair-accessible.

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