Architectural plans and drawings for the building of the Ashmolean Museum were drawn up in the 1840s by the architect C.R. Cockerell (1788–1863). His contract drawings were handsome drawings in their own right, and allow one to follow the evolution of the building through successive modifications. The building was completed in 1846. The Ashmolean is currently undergoing a £49 million redevelopment. Architect Rick Mather has designed a new building to replace all but the Grade I listed Cockerell building. His design will double the existing gallery space, allow environmental control, and create a dedicated Education Centre and conservation facilities.
The world-class collection is divided into the following departments: Antiquities, Western Art, Eastern Art, Coins, Cast Gallery, Conservation.