Tours & Events

The SIS Annual Study Tour is a week-long visit to a city or region that has a number of scientific instrument collections. Shorter weekend events, either in the UK or Europe, have also been organised when feasible. The Study Tour usually takes place in May each year and generally attracts 20-30 members from around the globe. Where possible, we endeavour to include behind-the-scenes access to public and private collections to provide you with unparalleled opportunities to see some superb instruments and technological heritage.

Spend the week with like-minded enthusiasts in a friendly and sociable environment. Take a look at the associated Bulletin reports for details. Non-members are very welcome to attend.

For past and future Study Tours, see the Events Calendar.

UPCOMING TOURS

2022 Long Study Tour Northern Italy: 15-18 May: Turin, 18-21 May: Milan (15-21 May).

PAST TOURS

2021 All events postponed due to the global pandemic.
2020 All events postponed due to the global pandemic.
2019 Stockholm, Sweden (19-24 May), Bulletin 142 (September 2019), 35-41.
2018 Athens (13–18 May), Bulletin 138 (September 2018), 24-29.
2017 South Wales (10–15 Sept), Bulletin 135 (December 2017), 36-42.
2016 Palermo, Sicily (4–9 Sept), Bulletin 132 (March 2017), 30-41.
2015 Portugal (Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto) (4-8 May), Bulletin 127 (December 2015), 10-21.
2014 Switzerland (1–6 June), Bulletin 122 (September 2014), 34-43.
2013 Berlin (13-18 May), Bulletin 118 (2013), 14-24.
2012 London (14-19 May), Bulletin 113 (2012), 1.
2011 Dublin (10-13 May), Bulletin 111 (2011), 28-33.
2010 Frankfurt, Giessen, Marburg, Goettingen, Kassel (10-14 May), Bulletin 107 (2010), 36-44.
2009 Leicester and Derby (9-10 October), Bulletin 103 (2009), 38-44.
2009 Paris (25-29 May), Bulletin 102 (2009), 40-44.
2007 Birmingham (21-22 September), Bulletin 97 (December 1997), 17-19.
2008 Norwich, Fakenham and Spalding (3-4 October).
2008 Utrecht, Leiden, Haarlem, Delft, Rotterdam, Franeker, Groningen (6-9 May), Bulletin 99 (2008), 36-42.
2007 Florence, Arezzo (26-30 March), Bulletin 93 (2007), 18-25.
2006 York, Whitby, Hull, Burton Constable (12-14 October).
2006 Dresden, Weimar, Jena (26-29 March), Bulletin 89 (2006), 27-32.
2005 St Petersburg, Pavlovsk (14-20 May), Bulletin 87 (2005), 31-33.
2004 Copenhagen, Taastrup, Soro, Herlufsholm, Malmo (2-7 May), Bulletin 82 (2004), 23-28.
2003 Brussels, Ghent (18-19 October), Bulletin 79 (2003), 15-17.
2003 Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Dundee, Aberdeen (29 April-3 May), Bulletin 78 (2003), 12-21.
2002 Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Oldenburg, Kiel (11-16 May), Bulletin 74 (2002), 24-32.
2001 Oxford, Snowshill Manor, Waddesdon (7-9 September), Bulletin 71 (2001), 34-37.
2000 Como, Milan and Pavia (9-14 May), Bulletin 65 (2000), 19-24.
1999 Lisbon, Coimbra (3-8 May), Bulletin 62 (1999), 23-28.
1998 Paris (3-7 March), Bulletin 57 (1998), 14-20.
1997 Rome (4-9 March), Bulletin 53 (1997), 25-30.
1996 Geneva (7-8 September), Bulletin 51 (1996), 5-6.
1996 Nuremberg, Regensburg, Munich (20-27 March), Bulletin 49 (1996), 9-13.
1995 Florence (20-26 March), Bulletin 45 (1995), 6-11.
1994 Madrid (10-15 May), Bulletin 42 (1994), 6-12.
1993 Cracow (10-14 May), Bulletin 38 (1993), 24-27.
1992 London and Oxford (May), Bulletin 34 (1992), 17-19.
1991 Liverpool, Prescot, Manchester (19-20 October), Bulletin 33 (1991), 15-21.
1991 Leiden (13-17 May), Bulletin 29 (1991), 9-27.
1990 Dublin (15-18 May), Bulletin 26 (1990), 3-10.
1989 Prague/Vienna (25 April-1 May), Bulletin 25 (1990), 3-5.
1988 Belgium (16-20 May), Bulletin 18 (1988), 13-14.
1987 Chicago / USA Midwest (22-25 May), Bulletin 14 (1987), 4-5.
1985 Paris (with the Societé de l’Astrolabe) (31 May-1 June).
1983 Gloucester (18-20 November), Bulletin 2 (Winter 1984), 2.

OTHER VISITS AND EVENTS

Usually these are visits to museums, often with handling sessions and/or visits to behind-the-scenes stores, country houses and institutions, but there have also been workshops and debate meetings, and even a convivial Thames cruise! The reports are published in the Bulletin and are a source of inspiration for members planning private visits.

2019 Scientific Instrument Fair, hosted in conjunction with the 5th Antique Arms Fair, Pillar Hall, Kensington Olympia (27 September).
2018 Scientific Instrument Fair, hosted in conjunction with the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers, Glaziers’ Hall, London Bridge (8 July), Bulletin 138 (September 2018), 4-5.
2018 ‘Astronomy and Empire’, Whipple Museum, Cambridge (7 Feb), Bulletin 137 (June 2018), 35-39.
2017 Weekend visit to the Baltic Coast, northern Germany (19-21 May), Bulletin 135 (December 2017), 29-33.
2017 Farnborough Air Sciences Museum (FAST) (2 March), Bulletin 133 (June 2017), 40-41.
2016 Weekend visit to Maidstone Museum, Belmont House and Down House (30 April-1 May), Bulletin 130 (September 2016), 21-23.
2015 Weekend visit to the Netherlands (9-11 October), Bulletin 127 (December 2015), 40-43.
2015 Victorian Engineering and Fire Safety Fire Brigade Museum and the Kirkaldy Testing Museum, Southwark (27 Feb), Bulletin 126 (September 2015), 4-6.
2014 Short Study Tour, Dorset, UK (17-19 October), Bulletin 124 (2015), 20-24.
2014 Brunel Engine House and Thames Tunnel and the Algha Spectacle Works (25 Feb), Bulletin 122 (2014), 16-19.
2013 Short Study Tour to Leeds (11-13 October), Bulletin 120 (2013), 20-24.
2013 Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot (12 February), Bulletin (2013).
2012 Short Study Tour in the Netherlands (19-20 October), Bulletin 119 (2012), 40-43.
2011 Masonic Museum, Freemasons’ Hall, London (25 February).
2009 Royal Institution of Great Britain, London (6 March).
2008 Glaziers Hall: Mini conference on the London Guilds and City Livery Companies. Joint meeting with WCSIM (4 July), Bulletin 98 (2008), 5-7.
2008 Galton Collection, University College London and Wellcome Collection exhibition on ‘Sleeping and Dreaming’ (29 February), Bulletin 97 (2008), 31-32.
2007 Science Museum, Smith Centre: ‘Treasures from the Astronomy Collection’ (9 February), Bulletin 92 (2007), 3.
2007 Institute of Historical Research, London ‘Jesse Ramsden: London’s leading scientific instrument maker – Why?’ (9 February), Bulletin 92 (2007), 3.
2006 Science Museum reserve collection (Blythe House) (19 May), Bulletin 90 (2006), 24-25.
2005 Royal Society, London (14 October), Bulletin 87 (2005), 34-35.
2005 National Maritime Museum, London (9 July), Bulletin 86 (2005), 14.
2005 Victoria & Albert Museum, London (18 March), Bulletin 85 (2005), 36-37.
2004 Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester (16 October), Bulletin 83 (2004), 29.
2004 Whipple Museum, Cambridge (preceding AGM) (2 July), Bulletin 82 (2004), 36-37.
2004 The College of Optometrists, London (British Optical Association Museum) (27 February).
2003 British Museum: Electroforming workshop repeat (26 November).
2003 Royal Institution, London (24 January), Bulletin 77 (2003), 2-3.
2002 Bristol: Brunel Instruments, Industrial Museum, University Library (5 October), Bulletin 75 (2002), 25-26.
2002 Science Museum reserve collection (Blythe House) (12 April).
2002 Woolwich Royal Artillery Museum (23 February), Bulletin 73 (2002), 33-35.
2001 Museum of London (12 May), Bulletin 70 (2001), 36-37.
2001 Royal Astronomical Society (20 January), Bulletin 68 (2001), 30-31.
2000 Bury St. Edmunds: Joint meeting with Antiquarian Horological Society (23 September), Bulletin 68 (2000), 29.
2000 Thames cruise (5 July).
2000 National Maritime Museum, Greenwich: ‘Story of Time’ (4 March), Bulletin 67 (2000), 30-31.
1999 Whipple Museum, Cambridge (19 November).
1999 British Museum: Electroforming workshop (29 October), Bulletin 64 (2000), 30-31.
1999 Liverpool County Museum and Merseyside Maritime Museum (19 June).
1999 British Museum: Hands-on session in Clock Room (17 April), Bulletin 61 (1999), 3.
1998 York Castle (22 August), Bulletin 59 (1998), 5.
1998 Conservation seminar at West Dean College: Organic materials / Lacquering, Bulletin 58 (1998), 10.
1998 British Museum: Private view of Humphrey Cole exhibition (28 April), Bulletin 57 (1998), 2.
1997 Longleat House, Bath (17 May), Bulletin 54 (1997), 31-32.
1996 Oxford: workshop on the art of engraving (16 November).
1996 Old Royal Observatory / National Maritime Museum reserve collections (26 October).
1996 Conservation Seminar at West Dean College: ‘The Colouring of Material’ (11-12 May).
1995 Conservation Seminar at West Dean College: ‘Conservation of Scientific Instruments’ (20-21 May), Bulletin 45 (1995), 24.
1994 Society of Antiquaries, London: ‘How to look at scientific instruments?’ (22 March), Bulletin 41 (1994), 2.
1994 Science Museum: George III Collection (20 January).
1993 Society of Antiquaries: ‘Was there an Elizabethan telescope?’ (26 March), Bulletin 37 (1993), 2-6.
1992 Science Museum: Quiz (10 November).
1992 National Maritime Museum: ‘Columbus: The Man and His Achievement’ (28 March), Bulletin 33 (1992), 30-31.
1991 Christie’s, London (Nicolas Webster collection) (25 September), Bulletin 31 (1991), 8-10.
1991 Science Museum: Joint meeting with Antiquarian Horological Society (18 July), Bulletin 30 (1991), 1-2.
1990 Royal Institution (5 December), Bulletin 28 (1991), 27-28.
1990 University of Bristol Physics Department, Bristol Industrial Museum (20 October), Bulletin 27 (1990), 28.
1990 Science Museum: History of the Foucault Pendulum (7 February), Bulletin 26 (1990), 15-16.
1989 British College of Ophthalmic Opticians (British Optical Association Museum) (21 October).
1989 Phillips, New Bond Street: Antikythera mechanism / Slide rules (17 January).
1988 Christie’s, South Kensington (8 December).
1988 Science Museum: Demonstration in style of Benjamin Martin / ‘James Ferguson’ (6 April).
1987 Culham Laboratory, Oxfordshire (20 February), Bulletin 13 (1987), 9-10.
1987 Science Museum, Optics Gallery (9 November), Bulletin 10 (1987), 21.
1986 Washington Hotel, London: Winter Meeting (8 December), Bulletin 10 (1986), 1.
1986 Royal Museum of Scotland: ‘The Business of Instruments’. Joint meeting with the Antiquarian Horological Society (22 March), Bulletin 10 (1986), 4-7.
1985 National Maritime Museum: ‘Science and the Sea’ (30 March), Bulletin 7 (1985), 3-8.
1985 Science Museum (15 January), Bulletin 5 (Winter 1985), 2.
1984 Green College, Oxford: Joint Meeting with Royal Meteorological Society (6 October), Bulletin 5 (Winter 1985), 3.
1984 Shell-Mex House: Spectroscopes / Photography of Scientific Instruments (12 June), Bulletin 4 (Summer 1984), 3-5.
1984 Shell-Mex House: ‘History of Burning Mirrors’ (28 February), Bulletin 4 (Summer 1984), 7-8.
1983 National Army Museum: ‘Fakes and Facsimiles’ (20 July), Bulletin 1 (Summer 1983), 3.

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