Founded in 1901 and adjacent to Charing Cross Station, this eye-opening museum contains over 16,000 objects relating to the human eye. Learn all about the history of spectacles, monocles, magnifiers and lorgnettes at one of the oldest optical collections in the world, open to the public by prior appointment.
The BOA Museum provides a heritage service to the College, the WCSM and the wider optical professions. The public may visit the exhibition rooms (the Sutcliffe Room and Giles Room) by prior appointment or pay for a guided tour of the College meeting rooms in which various exhibits are displayed. Museum staff are available to give external lectures and objects are frequently lent to temporary exhibitions at other accredited museums in the UK and occasionally overseas.
The British Optical Association (BOA) was founded in 1895 as the first professional body for ophthalmic opticians (optometrists) in the world. It ran the first professional examinations in optics in 1896 and provided the Secretariat for a number of other optical bodies including what would eventually become the Association of Optometrists and the World Council of Optometry. In 1980, the BOA joined forces with the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and the Scottish Association of Opticians (now disbanded) to found the British College of Ophthalmic Opticians (Optometrists); in 1987 the title was changed to British College of Optometrists, known since 1995 as The College of Optometrists.