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The Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities

A new home for Oxford humanities


The Schwarzman Centre will give Oxford’s humanities a new home with state-of-the-art academic, exhibition and performance spaces.

The building, made possible by gifts totalling £185 million from philanthropist and businessman Stephen A. Schwarzman, demonstrates the essential role of the humanities in helping society confront and answer fundamental questions of the 21st century.

The Schwarzman Centre will be a dynamic hub dedicated to the humanities. For the first time in the University’s history, humanities faculties will be housed together with a new humanities library in a space designed to encourage learning and experimentation.

Construction on the building is well underway and it will open in 2025. But the Centre has already come to life with a rich programme of research and events. Read on to find out more.

Photo: Serg Zastavkin/


'The Schwarzman Centre has enormous potential both to benefit teaching and research in the humanities, and to be a place which makes a genuine contribution to the local community in Oxford as well as the national and global cultural sector.'

-Oxford Vice-Chancellor Professor Irene Tracey

For the first time in the University’s history, Oxford’s programmes in English, history, linguistics, philology & phonetics, medieval & modern languages, music, philosophy, and theology & religion will be housed together in a space designed to encourage experiential learning and bold experimentation through cross-disciplinary and collaborative study.

The Schwarzman Centre will also be home to Oxford’s new Institute for Ethics in AI which will build upon the University’s world-class capabilities in the humanities to lead the study of the ethical implications of artificial intelligence and other new computing technologies.

The building will include performing arts and exhibition venues designed to engage the Oxford community and the public at large. Modern amenities and digital capabilities will allow Oxford to share the full breadth of its unparalleled collections and research in the humanities. The Schwarzman Centre will serve as a dynamic hub dedicated to the humanities – those fields which inform our understanding and appreciation of the human experience. 

This is one of the most exciting ideas for a long time. Oxford, which abounds in talent of all kinds, deserves a proper centre for the study and celebration of the humanities ... I welcome this new enterprise warmly, and I’m sure it will flourish and soon be widely seen, and celebrated, as an essential part of what Oxford means.

Sir Philip Pullman, author

It is essential that philosophy and ethics engages with those disciplines developing and using AI. If AI is to benefit humanity we must understand its moral and ethical implications. Oxford with its rich history in humanities and philosophy is ideally placed to do this.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the World Wide Web

Soon Oxford will have a building specifically designed both to foster a new way of working, and to share its benefits as widely as possible ... The humanities are about generosity of spirit. This supreme act of generosity will enrich the intellectual life of Oxford – far beyond the university – for decades to come.

Neil MacGregor, art historian and former Director of the British Museum

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