Opening Hours

We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and free to visit!

We are closed on weekends, Bank Holidays, and during University closures.

We may be closed for teaching during term time, any changes to our regular opening hours will be listed here.

Don’t forget that group visits must be booked in advance!

The Cole Museum is centred at the heart of a working University building, and we must ask our visitors to be considerate of our staff and researchers working on the upper floors by keeping noise levels to a minimum.

Think of us as a quiet space, like a library.

About the museum

The Cole Museum of Zoology is owned and managed by the University of Reading

It was established by Professor Francis Cole in 1906 when the University was known as University College Reading. The Cole Museum of Zoology represents a snapshot of animal diversity in the early 20th century and has always been used to teach zoology and comparative anatomy. The Museum is home to thousands of specimens of great zoological significance, including taxidermy, skeletons, histological preparations, fluid-preserved dissections, fossil material, casts, and some superb models of developmental stages and extinct animals.

Cole Museum Highlights

Introducing some of our flagship specimens who you must meet when you come to visit us!

Virtual Museum

Bringing the Cole Museum to you... We are building a virtual Cole Museum to give you an advance look at our displays before your visit. Explore the diversity of animal life [...]


About Our Collections Francis Joseph Cole was appointed to ‘University College Reading’ in 1906 and was soon promoted to the position of Professor of Zoology. A passionate and creative collector [...]

Self-guided Tours

The Cole Museum of Zoology is full of exciting learning opportunities! We are in the process of creating educational material to support the National Curriculum, as well as providing content [...]

Join Our Community

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  • The Cole Museum of Zoology

    University of Reading
    RG6 6UA

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