The Story Museum's exhibitions are now closed as we prepare for our major redevelopment. The Story Cafe is open Tuesday - Friday.

1001 Stories Collection

Why are we building the 1001 Stories Collection?
The Story Museum’s vision is to enrich lives, particularly young lives, through story. For this we need great stories. 1001 stories. Roughly one a week from birth to age 18.

So we are collecting 1001 of the world’s greatest stories (and associated objects) to share in exciting ways – through our exhibitions and shows, talks and workshops, schools programme and community projects, website and publications.

These are stories from different times and places, stories that began as spoken words, in print or on screen, stories that can be enjoyed at different ages. Our collection will continue to evolve to reflect changing tastes and capture new stories as well as re-discovered classics.

How did we choose the stories?
We enlisted the help of many experts – especially our audiences of all ages – to select stories that are memorable and enjoyable, that engage young minds, that appeal to a wide audience or speak powerfully to a narrower one, that capture a moment or endure through time. First a story had to be great. Then we had to make sure we had a good mix. And that we had properly mined the rich seam of stories created, gathered or inspired by Oxford and its diverse inhabitants.  It was a fascinating debate that will continue as we review our collection each year.

How will we collect the stories?
Great stories come in many forms. As spoken tales or theatre shows. As picture books and novels, comics and cartoons. As television programmes, films and video games. In formats that have not yet been invented.

The Story Museum will collect a permanent version of each of its 1001 Stories or signpost one that is easily accessible elsewhere. We are also gathering amazing objects that will help to bring these stories to life or reveal how they were created or changed the world.

The 1001 Stories Collection will be available for everyone to explore online through a dedicated website to be launched when our new spaces open in 2020.

Download a copy of our Conservation Plan
Download a copy of our Collections Development Policy

Join the 1001 Stories Quest
We are also embarked on a £6 million major redevelopment project of our site in central Oxford where we are creating a fantastical building in which our visitors can experience these stories in many great ways. From 2020 there will be 10 amazing new spaces to explore and enjoy, including a Whispering Wood, a Treasure Chamber, an Enchanted Library… Help us unearth the final £300,000 of treasure as we voyage towards our happy ever after by becoming a Fellow, a Collector or a Seeker on our 1001 Stories Quest.