Visiting

The British Optical Association Museum is located in a charming Georgian house, just off the Strand in Central London. We are happy to offer guided tours of the museum and exhibitions to individuals and groups who book in advance.  

We're starting to re-open!

The museum is currently undergoing refurbishment, and the new displays will be fully open in 2023, but for now we are able to offer some limited access by appointment, as outlined below.

Soft re-opening phase

Researchers
Researchers can now make an appointment to use the library resources or to view specific items from the collection. Monday-Friday 10.00am-4.00pm (last appointment).

Meeting Room Tours
The above-ground spaces in the College are now ready to receive visitors once again on pre-booked guided tours. Tours are suitable for individuals or groups of up to 25 people, last 1½ to 2 hours and cost £10 per person, payable on the day. You will see the College’s fine collection of paintings, prints and sculpture, as well as a few of the historic objects and maybe some of the rare books. Please note that the College is a working building so the availability of Meeting Room Tours is subject to other demands on the use of the rooms. Not all tours may be able to include every room. We recommend you have more than one date and time in mind when contacting us to arrange your appointment. Monday-Friday 10.00am-3.00pm (last appointment).

Museum Display Galleries
The Sutcliffe Room and the Giles Room, which contain the bulk of our object displays, are still undergoing refurbishment and will reopen in 2023.

Closures
It may not be possible to book visits on certain days due to holidays, events, or we may be fully booked. The current unavailable dates are listed below: 

  • Christmas/New Year period - 23 December 2022 to 2 January 2023
  • 12 December (afternoon)
  • 15 December (afternoon)
  • 19 January 2023 (morning)
  • 8 February (all day)
  • 21 February (all day)
  • 22 February (all day)
  • 14 March (all day)
  • 7 April (Good Friday)
  • 10 April (Easter Monday)
  • 21 April (all day).

Keep checking this page for the latest information.

We're looking forward to seeing you!

Contact us

For further information, to discuss your needs, or make an appointment, please contact the Curator:

Neil Handley PhD, AMA, FRSA 
Museum Curator 
British Optical Association Museum 
The College of Optometrists 
42 Craven Street, London, WC2N 5NG United Kingdom 

T: +44 (0)20 7766 4353  

Monday-Friday 10.00am-5.30pm 

E: museum@college-optometrists.org 

Twitter: @CollegeOptomUK (#musEYEum) 

Instagram: @collegeofoptometrists and @musEYEum (#musEYEum)

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