College of Optometrists welcomes over 450 visitors as part of Open House London

  • 21 Sep 2017

On Sunday 17 September, the College of Optometrist welcomed over 450 visitors for the annual Open House London event.

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Visitors came from as far as Dublin, Portugal, Taiwan, China and the USA. On the day, the public had the opportunity to look around the College’s historic headquarters, and visit the museum of the optical and eye care professions.

New this year, the College hosted a talk led by PhD student Gemma Almond, entitled “The ‘Spectacle’ of Vision Aids: Architecture and the Cartes des Visite”. This addition to the Open House brought in packed out crowds, with great reviews.

Speaker, Gemma Almond, said: “I really enjoyed my time at Open House event and it was great to have a large, and engaged, audience for each of my talks. The feedback was positive and it was a fantastic opportunity to share some of my work.”

Sunday also marked the opening of the museum’s new temporary exhibition, ‘We Called to See You: Visual Aspects of Victorian Cartes-de-Visite Portrait Photographs’. The exhibition features items from the internationally renowned British Optical Association Museum, supplemented by extensive loans from the Ron Cosens Collection in association with the website  

To book a tour at the museum contact Neil Handley, Museum Curator on 020 7766 4353 or email

Open House is held every year for one weekend in September, during which a wide range of buildings usually closed to the public can be visited completely free of charge.



Notes to Editors

  1. The College is the professional body for optometry. It qualifies the profession and delivers the guidance and training to ensure optometrists provide the best possible care. We promote excellence through the College’s affixes, by building the evidence base for optometry, and raising awareness of the profession with the public, commissioners, and health care professionals.
  2. For more about Open House visit:
  3. The British Optical Association Museum is the museum of the optical and eye care professions. Housed within the College of Optometrists, the collection comprises more than 18,000 objects and archival items relating to the history of ophthalmic optics (optometry), the human eye and visual aids. The public is welcome to visit the museum (by prior appointment), book a tour of the College meeting rooms or carry out relevant research. 
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