Object Handling Opportunities

Picture a museum and you probably picture objects safely displayed behind glass: out of reach and out of bounds. Now picture a museum where volunteers help visitors get much more ‘hands-on’ with objects…

From handling sundials or navigational instruments with visiting school groups at the Museum of the History of Science to helping with ad hoc handling at many family friendly events - and even a bit of live bug handling every now and then - there are plenty of opportunities to encourage visitors to use different senses and questioning skills to make their museum experience more interactive...

To find out more about regular hands-on opportunities, see below, and have a look at the role descriptions at the bottom of the page.


Hands-on Coins

Volunteer Coin Handlers help visitors to the Ashmolean to discover the wonderful world of numismatics. The coins used range in age from Ancient Greek to Victorian and include both Asian and European examples. Each coin has a story to tell, and part of the fun for both volunteers and visitors is uncovering that story as they hold history in their hands.

Saturday Object Handlers

Every Saturday, Pitt Rivers volunteers encourage visitors to find out more about the people who made and used some of the objects in the collection. The objects are themed by their use or function, coinciding with the museum’s layout, and represent a range of cultures from around the world.



Most object handling opportunities require some degree of training. However, volunteers may also be asked if they would like to do some object handling as part of a family friendly event, in which case they will just be briefed on the day.

Role Descriptions

Click on any of the roles below to open a Word document with details of that role.

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