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Research and study

The Research Centre study area is home to our archive of original source material and reference books, and is available by appointment for personal, professional and academic research.

We are currently operating a reduced service. We are still responding to enquiries about the archive collections, but it will take us longer to respond than usual. Researchers wishing to use our archive and library collections need to pre-book a research slot.

Making a booking

Please email the Archives team to discuss your research plans at least 7 days before the date you would like to visit. A link to the booking page will be provided once we have confirmed your plans with you.

Appointments are available on Wednesdays only, 10.30–12.45 and 13.45–16.30. You can book a morning or afternoon slot, or both if you would like to spend the whole day in the archive. Please mention your booking preference when you email the Archives team to discuss your plans.

(Please note: The Archive will be closed over the festive period, so there will be no appointments available from the week commencing 18 December 2023 until the week commencing 8 January 2024.)

You must also pre-book the archive material you want to consult. If you can, please tell us what you want to see when you first contact us. You can order up to 15 individual items or 3 boxes of archive material per half day slot. If you are unable to let us know what you would like to see, when your booking is complete, the Archives team will help you to identify relevant material. 

You can find further information about the archives we care for via our online collection and the archive catalogue.

When you visit

A safe and enjoyable experience is still our top priority. In line with government guidance, wearing a face covering while working in the Research Centre study area is not compulsory, although as the Research Centre study area is an enclosed space, we encourage you to wear a face covering during your visit.

We have a small number of visitor lockers available for you to store your personal items securely. Due to space restrictions in the study area, please limit the number of personal items you bring with you to the Research Centre. You may bring a laptop or tablet, a phone or camera, a notepad and a pencil with you.

If you have an enquiry about the archive or object collections, please email us at We aim to respond within 20 working days, but responses are currently taking a little longer.

Part of the Science Museum Group