Oxford University campaign invites visitors to ‘grow their minds’ at the University’s incredible museums, libraries and gardens

13 February 2017

University launches Mindgrowing campaign to reveal the unique discoveries that can be found at its amazing sites mindgrowing.org

The University of Oxford has launched an exciting campaign to encourage tourists and visitors to Oxford to discover its incredible cultural attractions. The University has some of the finest collections in the world, located in historic venues which are just a short stroll from one another – the Ashmolean Museum, Museum of Natural History, Pitt Rivers Museum, Museum of the History of Science, Bodleian Libraries and Botanic Garden. Entry to most sites is free of charge.

Oxford University’s museums, libraries and gardens offer an experience which is not only enjoyable and memorable, but enables visitors to tap into centuries of knowledge and scholarship at the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

The University’s new campaign celebrates the ‘mindgrowing’ nature of its museums, libraries and gardens – encouraging visitors to expand their minds and go on a journey of discovery through culture, science and natural history. Marvel at a fragment of a 4.55 billion-year-old meteorite at the Museum of Natural History and see how its outer crust is smooth and dark where it melted as it fell through the atmosphere. Study the blackboard used in 1931 in a lecture given by Albert Einstein – now preserved at the Museum of the History of Science – whose equations connect the age, size and density of the universe. Examine a Bronze Age Celtic war trumpet at the Pitt Rivers Museum, whose deep low notes could strike fear into enemies’ hearts. And feast your eyes on modern masterpieces and Anglo-Saxon treasures at the Ashmolean, such as the Crondall Hoard which includes the first coins produced in Britain after the departure of the Romans two centuries before.

The advertising campaign targets tourists and day visitors to Oxford, inviting them to spend a few hours or a full day discovering these attractions and exploring the beautiful city of Oxford by roaming from site to site.

Local residents are also encouraged to rediscover these amazing attractions on their doorstep. With most sites offering free entry and a huge range of events, they are the perfect destination for families and visitors of all ages, especially at half term.

‘This is the first time the University has launched a campaign to promote all its cultural attractions at once,’ said Dr Silke Ackermann, Director of the Museum of the History of Science. ‘We want visitors to explore and enjoy these unique sites and their eclectic collections; they really are a must-see on any visit to Oxford. The University’s museums, gardens and libraries have contributed to scholarship and inspired learning for centuries and are places where visitors, too, can grow their minds.’

The ‘Mindgrowing’ advertising campaign consists of outdoor and print advertising as well as online advertising and social media. The bright green posters – featuring illustrations of dinosaurs, books and Roman busts – can be seen across Oxford, from Park & Rides to the rail station, as well as in Marylebone and Paddington stations and the London underground. A free map showing the location of each site – together with suggestions for 2-hour, 4-hour and full-day visits – can be picked up in venues across Oxfordshire and at all seven sites.

The advertising, which uses quirky illustrations and witty headlines, encourages visitors to ‘Book a Day Out’, ‘Find Time’ and ‘Roam Rome’. The illustrations also feature on a range of merchandise, including pencils and tote bags, which can be purchased in the on-site shops.

The campaign, which runs from 30 January to 5 May, was developed by London-based creative agency Lovers working with creative consultants Jane Wentworth Associates. www.mindgrowing.org

For further information or images, please contact: Matt Pickles, Media Relations Manager, University of Oxford News Office matt.pickles@admin.ox.ac.uk , Tel: +44 (0)1865 280532,  www.ox.ac.uk

Notes to the editors:

Oxford University’s museums, libraries and gardens include:
Ashmolean Museum www.ashmolean.org
Bodleian Libraries www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson
Botanic Garden & Harcourt Arboretum www.botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk
Museum of the History of Science www.mhs.ox.ac.uk 
Museum of Natural History www.oum.ox.ac.uk 
Pitt Rivers Museum www.prm.ox.ac.uk 

The four University museums are home to over 8.5 million objects representing the natural world, global art and artefacts: the Ashmolean is the first public museum in Britain and its collections include the most important group of Raphael drawings in the world; the Museum of the History of Science - housed in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built museum building - contains the world’s finest collection of historic scientific instruments; the Museum of Natural History houses 4.5m zoological, entomological and palaeontological specimens, including the fossil bones of the first dinosaur ever to be described scientifically; the Pitt Rivers holds one of the world’s finest collections of anthropology and archaeology, with objects from every continent and from throughout human history. The Bodleian is one of the oldest libraries in Europe and, with over 12 million printed items, is second only in size to the British Library in Britain. The Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Britain and forms the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world. The Harcourt Arboretum - a 130-acre site close to Oxford - contains some of the oldest redwoods in the UK and one of the best bluebell woods in Oxfordshire.

The advertising was developed by:
Lovers www.lovers.co
Jane Wentworth Associates www.jwa.co.uk