Small Research Facilities

Oxford University Museum of Natural History has a range of facilities and equipment focused on imaging and visualisation, as well as the conservation and preparation of a wide array of natural history specimens. For rates, training, and booking information, please contact

Image and Visualisation Suite
  • Two Artec 3D structured light scanners: Artec EVA and Artec Space Spider. Laptop with dedicated Artec software for volume capturing and editing
  • Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) dome
  • MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer
  • Zeiss SteREO Discovery.V12 stereomicroscope. Objectives: 0.3x Achromat S FWD 236mm, 0.6x PlanApo S FWD 81mm, 1.5x PlanApo S FWD 30mm (reaching up to 150X). Backlight and incidental lights, ring light. Image capturing software ZEN. Automated stacking rail and ZEN software module. Image stacking software: Helicon Focus 7.5.8. Axiocam 105 colour digital camera. Polarising filters available
  • Zeiss AXIO Scope.A1 compound (petrographic) microscope. Objectives: EC Plan-NEOFLUAR 2.5x, 5X, 10X, and 20X; LD Plan-NEOFLUAR 40X; and A-Plan 100X (oil). Axiocam 105 colour digital camera.
  • Two workstations optimised for volume segmentation with AMIRA 2019.4, Mimics Research 20.0, and SPIERS v.3.0.1 software
  • Digital cameras on copy stand macrophotography station. Canon photographic objectives: EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 180mm f/3.5L macro USM, MP-E 65 macro lens. Lighting: Kaiser RB 5070 DX2 LED light arrays x2. Circular polarising filters are available for both lenses and fibre optic light sources
Micropalaeontology and Acid Digestion Laboratory

The Museum of Natural History has a fully equipped laboratory for the acid preparation of limestones and other carbonate sediments, and micropalaeontological processing, using acetic acid and formic acid, with a full range of sieving and drying facilities, as well as an ultrasonic bath for cleaning. The lab also contains facilities for the heavy liquid/density separation of acid residues using sodium heteropolytungstate (LST Fastfloat). Microscopes and other equipment for the picking of microfossil residues are available.

Conservation Laboratories

Heated and Humidifying Tools

Conservation works workstation – up to 200°C, with diverse-shaped spatulas and hot air nozzles; humidifier; heated knife; steam pencil for increasing the malleability of different materials; soldering-iron; electric heat gun with four nozzles and a scraper.

Mechanical Tools

Buehler EcoMET 30 grinder/polisher for the precision preparation of rocks and fossils, with disc sanding papers from P280 to P2500 grit; drills with multiple tips and sanders; kit of handheld tools for work on different materials such as glass or metal; dissecting kit; set of scalpels and other blades; kit of weights of various sizes; variety of modelling spatulas; selection of chisels, mallets, clamps. Axminster benchtop milling machine for users who can demonstrate competency to safely operate.

Environmental Monitoring and Analysis Equipment

pH test meter; portable environmental monitor (illuminance, UV, temperature, relative humidity); set of tiny tags portable environmental monitors (temperature, relative humidity); light meter; portable density meter DMA35 for alcohol %, oil, etc; salt spot test strips (sulphates, nitrates, chloride, and arsenic).

Cleaning of different organic and inorganic materials (stone, leather, paper, paint, etc.)

Air brushes and air compressors; chemical cleaning agents (ammonia, solvents); wet/dry vacuums; adjustable museum vacuums with various attachments; kit of cleaning and paint brushes; conservation ionic and non-ionic detergents; variety of conservation cleaning sponges (smoke sponge, conservators’ sponge, groom stick); organic solvents (toluene, xylene); poultice powders – stain remover, mild abrasive cleaner (laponite, methyl cellulose); abrasives and polishing: micromesh sanding tool, Jewellers rouge; diverse, multiuse materials: diatomaceous earth, silica gel, sepiolite, etc.

Restoration and Repair

Assortment of adhesives and glue guns; conservation materials (Tyvek, Plastazote, Correx, polyester wadding, Reemay, Wonderflex pro, Melinex, Japanese tissue, sodium alginate, gold beaters skin, and others); galvanised and stainless-steel wire; acrylic paints and inks, powdered pigments; plaster; BEVA 371 film; gap fillers (Flügger, microballoons); epoxy resins; solvents (acetone, ethanol, industrial methylated spirits, methyl ethyl ketone); blotting papers; gummed and adhesive hinging papers; acrylic copolymer dispersion Primal WS24; vacuum chamber

Casting and Mould-Making of Fossils and Other Objects

Casting in plaster or Jesmonite and moulding in silicone rubber or alginate.

General Laboratory and Photographic Equipment

Also available