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Open seven days a week, 10.00 - 18.00. Entry is free*.

Archive collections

The Science Museum archives hold original records of some of the most famous and influential individuals and companies in the fields of science, medicine, engineering and industry, including:

  • almost two hundred large archives that feature substantial collections of personal papers or company records
  • more than two thousand individual items or small collections that provide snapshots of the lives of those who created them.

Highlights of the collection

  • Drawings and sketchbooks of Charles Babbage (1791–1871); mathematician and computer pioneer
  • Letters from Sir Humphry Davy (1778–1828); chemist and inventor in the field of electrochemistry
  • Papers of George Parker Bidder (1806–1878); civil engineer and mental calculator
  • Company records and photographs of Pearson Ltd (1844–1920); civil engineers
  • Original design drawings and motor car construction records of Hooper (Coachbuilders) & Co. Ltd. (c.1910–1959)
  • Apollo 11 Flight Plan signed by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin
  • Archive of Sir Patrick Moore (1923–2012); amateur astronomer, writer and TV presenter
  • Professional and personal papers of Professor James E. Lovelock (1919-); independent scientist and inventor in the field of environmental studies

More information about the archive collections can be found on the archives catalogue.

Viewing the collections

The collections are available for consultation in the Dana Research Centre and Library in London or in the Wroughton Reading Room near Swindon.

Explore our collection online

We have improved our online collection, not only making it easier to search and filter results but delivering high-quality imagery and adding more in-depth information.

This work, which gives you fast access to over 150,000 objects and archives from the Science Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, National Media Museum and National Railway Museum, is now available for you to access.

Please be advised that the website is still being tested and improved.

Access our collection at http://collection.sciencemuseum.org.uk

Further information