Reading Rocks

Cole Museum of Zoology

Places to Visit

The Cole Museum of Zoology is a university museum, part of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Reading. It is located on the ground floor of the Health and Life Sciences building on the university's Whiteknights Campus.

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 of animal specimens he set to work on a museum collection using a variety of imaginative means. He encouraged donations from overseas visitors and even asked students to bring back exciting finds from their research projects and holidays all over the world.

In 1939 the prestigious journal Nature recognised the collection as ‘being without a rival’ among its contemporaries of the day. Nowadays, somewhat rarely, the Cole collection remains intact, retaining its status as one of the most important and complete UK museums of comparative anatomy – the study of differences between animals.

Professor Cole was not only an enthusiastic gatherer of animal specimens, he also had a fondness for medical and zoological books. Complementing the Museum is the Cole Library of first editions and rare volumes of books and scientific papers. The library may be viewed by appointment.

The Cole Museum is open Mon - Fri from 9am -5pm closed weekends and bank holidays. For more information click here. You can print off a work sheet and colouring sheet for your visit here.

Parking is limited at the University but there is a pay and display carpark - Carpark 1A which is about a 10minute walk from the Museum. 

Opening Hours

Monday09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday09:00 - 17:00
Thursday09:00 - 17:00
Friday09:00 - 17:00

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