A fish-eye view of the Museum’s new extensionIn March 2004 the Museum was awarded £3.7 million pounds by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to build a new extension to the Museum's well-known galleries on South Parks Road. The new building is now complete, bringing the Museum's academic staff back on site, as well as housing a new conservation laboratory and collections management facilities. It reunites the Museum's wonderful photographic collections with the artefact collections to which they relate. There are also up-to-date facilities for visiting researchers, in particular those from indigenous groups, who wish to study their cultural heritage.
In addition, a generous contribution of some £3 million pounds from Oxford University enabled a new lecture theatre, exhibition gallery and seminar room to be built within the new extension. These will be available for wider public use when not required for university teaching. Other much-needed services now provided include a lift to all floors, an adapted toilet and baby-change facilities.
Dr Michael O’Hanlon (Museum Director), Sheena Vick (HLF),
Michael Palin and Dr John Hood at the official opening.The new extension interconnects with the existing much loved Victorian displays, which have remained untouched. The extension was officially opened on the 22nd November 2007 by Michael Palin (Patron of the Friends of the Pitt Rivers) and Dr John Hood (Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford). This was followed by a Celebration Weekend of activities for families on Saturday 24th November and adults on Sunday 25th.
A topping out ceremony held on the 9th February 2006 marked the completion of the top floor of the Pitt Rivers Museum’s new extension.
On June 6th 2005 famous Oxford author Colin Dexter of Inspector Morse fame came to the Museum to oversee the burying of a time capsule beneath the foundations of the new extension.