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Collections & Research


From April 2016 until the beginning of 2018, the Museum will be packing its off-site collections in preparation for the move of this reserve collection to a new location. The move will help us to provide better online descriptions with higher quality images, and improved storage conditions.

Due to this major project, we regret that parts of our collections will be unavailable for research, loans and new photography for image orders into 2018. Please contact the Collections Manager at or 01865 277452 if you require further information.

We will be recording our progress with the packing and move on the Museum’s Twitter and Instagram accounts. We may be asking for your assistance with mystery items, reporting on the unusual objects we encounter or describing novel packing solutions!

Welcome to the Museum of the History of Science collections’ pages. From here you can search the collections database, learn about how items in the collection are conserved and consult records of books held in the library, using the library catalogue.

Only about one fifth of the Museum’s collection is on permanent public display. Regular Special Exhibitions often showcase objects normally in store, but the entire collection is accessible here. The database contains detailed information on around 20,000 objects, many of them photographed. Members of the public can, where appropriate, make research visits to view objects. For enquiries about research visits please email

There is also detailed information available for other museums wishing to borrow from the collection for special exhibitions.

Collections Database

an armillary sphere

Search for objects in the database containing almost 20000 records.


Conservation in the Museum

Reports outlining conservation methods on some precious objects from the collection.

Library and Archives

book spines

Browse the online library catalogue and use the library and archive for research

Image Orders

packed objects

Details of who to contact for image ordering.