Special Events

An optical what's on at the museum and elsewhere...

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Our website users across the world may be interested in the following heritage events, lectures and temporary exhibitions on optically-related subjects:


The  AGM and Auction of the Ophthalmic Antiques International Collectors' Club (OAICC) will take place on Sunday 18 July 2021 in Worthing, West Sussex. OAICC Members only.

Open House logo


The 2020 Open House Festival was very different from normal and spread across the period 19-27 September. We regret that the College of Optometrists was not open to visitors this year but participated online only, as part of a new-syle 'Festival'.

Although the Festival is now over, you can still watch our short Open House 2020 'Special Insight' video here:

Still from Special Insight video for Open House 2020

Museum Curator Neil Handley introduces the little known fact that part of our College building was the original home of the India Club in the 1950s. He then tells the story of 'A Spectacle with a History', the oldest identifiable donation to our museum, sent from India in 1909. Our predecessor body, the British Optical Association, had members throughout the colonies and dominions and the story of this object fits one of this year's Open House themes: colonial narratives. By assembling such an international collection the museum had, by the 1920s, been praised from thousands of miles away as 'A splendid thing'. [8 minutes duration]

It's looking less likely that we will be able to participate as normal in the next Open House London event on Sunday 19 September 2021, but we hope to be back with a bang in 2022.



The College museum's current temporary exhibition runs until further notice alongside the permanent displays. [Currently closed]

Current temporary exhibition



100% Optical, the UK's fastest-growing (and now sole unified) optical trade show returns in January 2022.