The Ashmolean is the oldest public museum in Britain, and the first purpose-built public museum in the world. The events which led to its establishment began in 1677, when a cabinet of curiosities was donated to the University of Oxford by Elias Ashmole.
In 1976, a suitable space was made available in the Ashmolean to house a new display of objects surviving from the Tradescant collection. Construction began on a new gallery in August, 1977, and on 22 May, 1978, the Tradescant Room was officially opened by the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Rex Richards.
Generous contributions towards furnishing the new Tradescant Room were made by individuals and institutions in Britain and in the United States. The layout of the room was designed by the staff of the Department of Antiquities, with Mr. M. G. Welch, the Assistant Keeper concerned, playing a prominent role. The intention was to give the impression of a seventeenth-century museum, while using modern display methods. The fenestration of the old Ashmolean in Broad Street was copied from a contemporary engraving, and from nineteenth-century photographs. The panelling and mouldings were adapted from early seventeenth-century examples in the Principal's Lodgings, Brasenose College, by kind permission of the Principal and Fellows.
For more information visit the Ashmolean Museum's online resource here.