JULY 8, 2024

“What the heck is the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, anyway?”

“What goes on there?”

For most Oxford and Talbot County residents, the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory and its operation is a mystery. A new exhibit opening on August 10 at the Oxford Museum will provide answers to these questions and more.

The Oxford Lab was established by the U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in 1960 for the primary purpose of investigating oyster diseases that had struck Chesapeake and Delaware Bays.  In 1964, the same year that the Oxford Museum began, it moved into its permanent Oxford home. Located at the end of South Morris Street on the Tred Avon River, the facility originally included 17,000 square feet of laboratory and office space, wet labs with flowing estuarine water, an extensive library, research vessels, and quarantine facilities. Since 1964, the lab and its staff of scientists has grown, its mission has expanded, and it has established partnerships with Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA and the US Coast Guard.

Scientific equipment, archival materials and digital resources provided by the Lab will trace the story of the Lab’s founding and illustrate the range of important scientific research that has and is still taking place there. The exhibit will remain on view at the museum through October and will be supplemented by public programs led by Lab staff.

The Oxford Cooperative Lab exhibit will run August 10 through October at the Oxford Museum, 101 S. Morris Street, Oxford.  Admission to the Museum is free of charge. Museum hours are Friday through Monday, 10 am to 4 pm. Please visit for more information on the museum and this exhibit.