Join this curator-led guided tour of the British Optical Association Museum – the oldest optical museum in the world – and get the chance to hear about some of the twenty-seven thousand items in this remarkable collection.
Founded in 1901 the museum collects objects and archival items relating to the history of ophthalmic optics (optometry), the human eye and visual aids, as well as the representation of these subjects in art. It’s not just a museum of science, technology and medicine but of fine and decorative art and the social history of a profession serving people with visual impairment.
The collections are a nationally important resource for studying the development of the various sight-related occupations, from Medieval spectacle makers to today’s highly skilled clinical practitioners in optometry and dispensing optics, as well as for the history of design, fashion and sensory disability.
The museum houses probably the world’s most significant collection relating to the history of contact lenses as well as one of the finest publicly accessible collections of spectacle frames, artificial eyes and eyebaths.
The museum, which is part of the College of Optometrists, houses probably the world’s most significant collection relating to the history of contact lenses as well as one of the finest publicly accessible collections of spectacle frames, artificial eyes and eyebaths.
Many of the objects in the museum are rare or unique. They’re certainly eye-catching … and we like to say we’re the only museum where the exhibits look at you!